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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

The Washington Post seeks open court in murder case

Posted Wednesday,
February 26, 2020
2 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Sheriff’s deputies escort Levi Norwood into the circuit courthouse Monday afternoon for his first hearing in Fauquier.
The First Amendment of the Constitution and the Virginia Constitution set forth a presumptive right of access to criminal proceedings.
— The Washington Post’s motion filed Wednesday morning
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Washington Post’s lawyer Wednesday morning filed a motion to open court proceedings in the case of a 17-year-old charged with murdering his mother and little brother on Valentine’s Day.

The newspaper contends that Judge Melissa N. Cupp erred in closing Levi H. Norwood’s first Fauquier court hearing late Monday afternoon.

> Motion at bottom of story

Deputy Public Defender Ryan Ruzic moved that Judge Cupp close the proceedings just after Mr. Norwood entered the courtroom, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook agreed.

Judge Cupp’s handwritten order says she closed the hearing “to protect the privacy of the juvenile charged herein, to protect potential jurors from exclusion due to news reports and to protect the privacy of a potential juvenile witness.”

But, Virginia law requires the case to remain in open court The Post’s attorney, Laurin H. Mills of Alexandria, wrote in the four-page motion filed Wednesday in Fauquier County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

“As set forth in The Post’s initial motion (Monday) to open the arraignment, the First Amendment of the Constitution and the Virginia Constitution set forth a presumptive right of access to criminal proceedings,” Mr. Mills wrote.

“The Virginia legislature has codified this right, stating, in unambiguous terms, that ‘Proceedings in cases involving an adult charged with a crime and hearings held on a petition or warrant alleging that a juvenile fourteen years of age or older committed an offense would be a felony if committed by an adult shall be open,” he added. “The use of the term ‘shall’ means that the Virginia legislature has already determined that the Court does not have the power to do what it did here.”

The newspaper’s motion asks Judge Cupp to release a transcript of Monday’s 15-minute closed hearing and to open all future court proceedings in Mr. Levi’s case.

“We think it’s clear she has to” open the proceedings, Mr. Mills said in a brief telephone interview Wednesday.

He cited the trial of Lee Boyd Malvo, convicted as the “D.C. sniper” co-conspirator in the shooting deaths 10 people 17 years ago, as “the roadmap” for Virginia murder trials involving juvenile defendants.

“This is an issue that we’re going to fight in the courtroom and not in the press,” Mr. Ruzic said by phone late Wednesday afternoon. “We’re planning to fight their motion.”

Also reached by phone Wednesday, Mr. Hook said: “We received the motion. We’re reviewing it and probably will file a response.”

Asked about the public’s interest in criminal trials, the prosecutor added, “I’m not opposed to the public’s right to observe judicial proceedings.”

One way or the other, the case eventually would get heard in public, according to state law.

If after a preliminary hearing, Judge Cupp found “probable cause” to indicate that Mr. Norwood committed the murders, the case would go to a circuit court grand jury, and the defendant presumably would stand trial as an adult.

Police arrested Mr. Norwood on Saturday in a Durham, N.C., Target store about 22 hours after he allegedly murdered two family members and wounded his father in their rented home on Elk Ridge Road between Morrisville and Midland.

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

WP's Motion for Release... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Best Bets: Tysons McLean Orchestra at Grace Church

Posted Wednesday,
February 26, 2020
0 ·
From top left: The Tysons McLean Orchestra will perform in The Plains; the UniStars Unicycling Showtroupe will host an event at Vint Hill, and the 2nd Hand Band will perform at Gloria’s in Old Town Warrenton.
Unicycling Performance & Trial Class
1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29
Vint Hill Gym
4235 Aiken Drive, Warrenton

The UniStars Unicycling Showtroupe will perform on one-wheeled cycles 2 to 6 feet tall. Then, anyone older than 8 can take a free beginner class. The Fauquier County Department of Parks and Recreation will co-sponsor the free event. For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The 2nd Hand Band
7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29
Gloria’s Listening Room
92 Main St., Warrenton

The four-member group plays Americana, classic rock and modern rock. Tickets: $17.50 and free for those 12 and younger with adults.

Tysons McLean Orchestra
5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 1
Grace Episcopal Church
6507 Main St., The Plains

In its 20th season, The Grace Church Concert Series presents the Tysons McLean Orchestra, under the direction of Miriam Burns. Sunday’s concert will include John Rutter’s Serenade, J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number 3 and F.J. Haydn’s Farewell Symphony. Tickets: $25 for adults and $15 for students.
> Video below

Other options

> Pete’s Unnamed Band on Friday night at Northside 29

> The Offstar Band on Saturday at Old Bust Head Brewing

> The Rectifier’s on Saturday at Wort Hog Brewing

Ali Zarabi seeks Ward 1 Warrenton council seat

Posted Wednesday,
February 26, 2020
1 ·
Ali Zarabi
I’m a little bit of the JFK era — to those much has been given, much is required. I’ve seen a lot of good. I’ve been very blessed in life. It’s my service to my community.
— Ward 1 candidate Ali Zarabi
Ali Zarabi
• Age: 55

• Home: Richards Drive

• Office sought: Ward 1 seat, Warrenton Town Council, May 5 election.

• Work: Hair stylist/owner, 68 Mane, Warrenton, 1995-present; hair stylist, 68 Mane, 1993-95; hair stylist, Studio 1025, Georgetown, 1990-1995.

• Appointed office: Vice chairman, Warrenton Planning Commission, 2000-present.

• Education: Green Run High School, Virginia Beach, 1981.

• Organizations: The Highland School Board of Trustees, 2019-present.

• Hobbies: Skiing, running.

• Family: Wife, Karen; daughter, Yasmin, 17; son, Alexander, 14.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Warrenton hair stylist doesn’t know when to quit.

Ali Zarabi, 55, said his notion of civic duty won’t let him.

In 2004, he sought the Warrenton Town Council’s Ward 1 seat and got crushed. His only rival, John Albertella received 64.5 percent of the vote.

In 2006, Mr. Zarabi, David Norden and Roger Martella vied for the council’s two At-large posts. Placing a distant third, Mr. Zarabi got just 21.7 percent of the vote.

On Monday, he declared for the Ward 1 seat in the May 5 election. He and Heather Grimsley Sutphin, 51, hope to succeed Jerry Wood, who will not run again after six years on the council. Mr. Wood won appointment to the vacant seat in 2014 and re-election two years later.

Despite losing two council seat bids, the owner of 68 Mane in Old Town feels “good” about his third attempt.

“I have been patient,” Mr. Zarabi explained. “I have listened. I have been engaged in this community for over 20 years. I operate a small business on Main Street. I’m raising my family here.”

He added: “I’m all in and I live it.”

He lists growth and development among his top issues and believes his two decades on the town planning commission uniquely equip him address them.

“We’re going to be presented with an update of (Warrenton’s) comprehensive plan, which is going to set the tone at least for the next six to eight years, and maybe longer, about how we operate and how we succeed as a community,” Mr. Zarabi said.

He supports the concept of “Urban Development Areas” contained in the town’s draft comprehensive plan that would promote denser, mixed-use projects in certain areas.

“Infill development in town is something that I believe most people favor,” Mr. Zarabi said.

But he believes the town must be “transparent” about the location, intensity and appearance of UDA construction and Warrenton’s ability to provide public infrastructure to support it.

“Part of leadership is to give your community an idea of what the change is going to be like and be as factual and as honest about it as you can,” said Mr. Zarabi, who moved from Iran to Henrico County near Richmond in 1978 at age 14.

Town officials have discussed incorporating the largely-commercial “Panhandle” area along Route 29 just north of Warrenton and mostly vacant land between the Eastern Bypass and Meetze Road.

Doing that would expand the town’s commercial tax base and provide additional economic development opportunities, according to town officials.

“I’m very cautious in that department,” he said of The Panhandle area, which includes three new vehicle dealerships and several restaurants. “At this point, it’s wait and see.

“I think we have plenty of opportunity right now to maximize what is here currently. I wouldn’t say it’s off the table in the future. But I don’t see the necessity, without having more insight into it.”

Mr. Zarabi remains equally skeptical of the town taking in land along Warrenton’s southeastern boundary.

“I want to focus on what I know as of today, which is the current town boundary,” the town planning commission vice chairman said. “How do we maximize the infill development, revitalization of coordinated uses” of commercial properties on Broadview Avenue, for example?

Mr. Zarabi also believes that residents and businesses should get value for their tax dollars.

“I want to make sure that we’re delivering the services and that we’re not burdening both the residents and business community any more than is absolutely critical or necessary.”

In February 2017, the planning commission voted to recommend denial of the Walker Drive mixed-use rezoning application.

The 31.4-acre project calls for offices, shops, restaurants, 76 apartments, 40 condominiums, entertainment businesses and could include a multi-screen movie theater and a bowling alley.

He voted against the project because of the “uncertainty about the scale of it,” Mr. Zarabi said.

“The scope of what we were looking at in terms of transportation impacts did not take into consideration the communities around the project,” he said.

In July, 2017 the town council approved the Walker Drive rezoning application.

In other matters, Mr. Zarabi backs Warrenton’s decision to purchase the former BB&T bank at 21 Main St. for the new Town Hall and the planned road improvements to Broadview Avenue.

Commercial Realtor Bill Chipman plans to vote for Mr. Zarabi.

“I think Ali is a good listener,” said Mr. Chipman, who has observed him on the planning commission. “He will consider all points of view of the discussion for a topic” before making a decision.

Mr. Zarabi “asks very good questions that open up discussions among the other planning commission members,” the Ward 1 resident said. “His questions are posed in a way that are not directed in a positive or negative way.”

He considers Mr. Zarabi an able successor to the incumbent.

“I think he’ll do just as good a job as Jerry (Wood) did during his stint,” said Mr. Chipman, who has known the candidate for about 20 years. “I think he will carry on that tradition.”

In 1993, Mr. Zarabi began working one to two days a week at 68 Mane to help Sam Higdon, a good friend who owned the salon.

At the time, Mr. Zarabi also worked at salon in Washington, where he lived.

In 1995, he bought 68 Mane and moved from Washington to Warrenton a year later.

Mr. Zarabi said he sought the planning commission appointment because he wanted to give back to the town.

“I’m a little bit of the JFK era — to those much has been given, much is required,” he said of his decision to pursue the commission job. “I’ve seen a lot of good. I’ve been very blessed in life. It’s my service to my community.”

The May election will feature all five ward seats on the council. Town citizens in 2018 elected the two at-large council members and the mayor to four-year terms.

This year’s candidates must file documents by March 3 to appear on the ballot. Those elected will take office July 1. Council members serve four-year terms.

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
February 26, 2020
0 ·

Experts discuss winter plans for gardening season

Posted Wednesday,
February 26, 2020
0 ·
“From the Ground Up” host Chris Mullins interviews Fauquier Education Farm Executive Director Jim Hankins.
Fauquier Education Farm Executive Director Jim Hankins offers winter tips to prepare for gardening in 2020.

Real Virginia From the Ground Up host Chris Mullins interviews Mr. Hankins at the Virginia Cooperative Extension office in Warrenton.

Sarah Yakel joins the board of Oak View National Bank

Posted Tuesday,
February 25, 2020
0 ·

Fauquier Springs History Day planned in May

Posted Tuesday,
February 25, 2020
0 ·

Antonio R. Benedi joins Walker Jones law firm

Posted Tuesday,
February 25, 2020
0 ·

Do you agree with the judge’s decision to close court proceedings in the Levi Norwood double murder case?

Posted Tuesday,
February 25, 2020
4 ·

Warrenton teen singer wins Bland Music Competition

Posted Tuesday,
February 25, 2020
0 ·

Average Americans to bear brunt of Trump budget

Posted Tuesday,
February 25, 2020
8 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
February 25, 2020
0 ·

Teen murder defendant’s court hearing closed

Posted Monday,
February 24, 2020
8 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Sheriff’s deputies escort 17-year-old murder defendant Levi Norwood into the courthouse for his first hearing Monday afternoon.
Norwood Murder Case
• Defendant: Levi Norwood, 17, of Midland.

• Charges: Two counts of murder.

• Victims: Defendant’s mother, Jennifer Norwood, 34, and brother, Wyatt Norwood, 6.

• Details: Levi Norwood allegedly shot and killed two family members early Friday night, Feb. 14, in their home at 12870 Elk Run Road. He also allegedly wounded his father, Joshua Norwood, 37.

• Arrest: Saturday afternoon, Feb. 15, in a Durham, N.C., Target store, where the defendant allegedly attempted to shoplift hair dye, clothes and a backpack. He allegedly had stolen a Toyota Camry in Fauquier and had driven it to North Carolina.

• Court: Fauquier County Juvenile and Domestic Relations, with proceedings closed to the public as of Feb. 24.

• Judge: Melissa N. Cupp

• Prosecutor: Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook and his staff.

• Defense: Fauquier Deputy Public Defender Ryan Ruzic and his staff.

What do you think?

POLL: Do you agree with the judge’s decision to close the court proceedings?

>>> Click here to vote
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Wrists and ankles shackled, the slump-shouldered Midland teen charged with murdering his mother and 6-year-old brother made his first appearance in a Fauquier court late Monday afternoon.

Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Melissa N. Cupp presided over the 15-minute closed hearing in the case of Levi Norwood, 17.

The Liberty High School junior faces two counts of murder in the shooting deaths. He could face additional charges for allegedly wounding his father the night of Friday, Feb. 14, in the family’s home at 12870 Elk Run Road in Southern Fauquier.

His hair still dyed purple, a detail that helped North Carolina police identify him a day after the murders, Levi Norwood sat quietly in the courtroom as his case began under heavy security.

Just before 5 p.m. Monday, Judge Cupp closed the hearing at the request of Deputy Public Defender Ryan D. Ruzic and Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott C. Hook.

The Washington Post had petitioned Judge Cupp to keep the proceedings open to the public.

> Documents at bottom of story

But, Mr. Ruzic argued the hearing could be closed for “good cause.”

In this case, protecting the “privacy” of a “juvenile” qualified as “good cause,” Mr. Ruzic told the judge.

The hearing also should be closed because the killings constituted acts of “intimate violence,” unlike a school shooting, the public defender said.

Mr. Ruzic called the case “not a matter for public consumption.”

The hearing also warranted closure because continued media coverage would make it difficult to impanel an impartial jury in “a small community,” Mr. Ruzic said.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott C. Hook concurred.

Judge Cupp ultimately agreed and closed the hearing. She also noted that closed proceedings would “protect the privacy of a potential juvenile witness.”

Mr. Ruzic’s office will represent Levi Norwood, who lacks the money to hire a defense lawyer.

Clutching family photos, the defendant’s father Joshua Norwood watched from the gallery and remained in the courtroom for the closed hearing. A Fauquier sheriff’s detective and the prosecutor’s victim-witness case manager sat with Mr. Norwood.

After the hearing, Mr. Norwood met with Mr. Hook and his staff upstairs in the courthouse.

Judge Cupp ordinarily would conduct a juvenile defendant’s hearing in her courtroom at 14 Main St. in Warrenton. State law provides protection for minors — whether defendants, victims or witnesses.

Because the nearby circuit courthouse provides better security, Levi Norwood’s arraignment got moved to the four-story brick structure.

Under a gray sky at about 4:35 p.m. Monday, a white Ford SUV with tinted windows pulled up to the courthouse.

Four deputies escorted Levi Norwood from the vehicle to the side entrance. He wore a blaze orange knit cap, bullet-proof vest, gray long-sleeved t-shirt, khaki pants and white sneakers.

Mr. Norwood, 37, discovered the deadly scene at his home on Valentine’s Day. He got home just before 6 p.m. to find his wife and young son shot to death in their rented brick rambler, according to the sheriff’s office.

His son then appeared and shot him with a handgun, according to investigators.

Joshua Norwood left through the front door and called 911 at 5:59 p.m.

The bodies of Jennifer Norwood, 34, and Wyatt Norwood, 6, remained in the house.

The first deputy reached the scene 16 minutes later and dozens more quickly arrived to set up a perimeter around the house, which has two other exterior doors.

Deputies assumed Levi Norwood remained inside with the gun.

But, at 10:15 p.m. when officers “forced entry,” they failed to find the suspect, who had fled and eventually covered about 10 miles through dense woods and along rural roadways until he stole a red 2007 Toyota Camry on Rogues Road close to C.M. Crockett Park near Midland, according to authorities.

At 7:30 Saturday morning, its owner reported the Camry missing.

Ultimately, tracking dogs followed the suspect’s trail from the family home to the area of the stolen car, Sheriff Bob Mosier said.

Joshua Norwood received treatment at a local hospital and spent the night of the shooting in a hotel, according to authorities.

Levi Norwood, who had colored his hair purple, had remained on the run for 22 hours since the shooting.

On Saturday, Feb. 15, North Carolina authorities detained him after he allegedly attempted to shoplift hair dye, clothes and a backpack in a Durham, N.C., Super Target store.

Waiving extradition last Monday in a Durham, N.C., Levi Norwood returned to Virginia over the weekend.

He remains incarcerated in the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center. 

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

Norwood Open Trial Motion a... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

24-year-old Marshall man killed in Route 17 accident

Posted Monday,
February 24, 2020
0 ·
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A 24-year-old Marshall man died in a single-vehicle wreck Friday night near Goldvein, according to Virginia State Police.

Trooper T. Ralls is investigating a single-vehicle fatal crash in Fauquier County.

The crash occurred at 11:14 p.m. Feb. 21 on Route 17 about 150 feet north of Spring Mill Road, according to Trooper T. Ralls.

A southbound 2005 Ford Escape ran off the roadway, through the median, overturned several times and hit a guardrail before coming to rest on the northbound shoulder, police reported.

Greggory O. Simmons Jr., 24, of Marshall, wore no seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, Trooper Ralls said. Mr. Simmons died at the scene.

“Speed is considered a factor in the crash,” which remains under investigation, Sgt. Brett Coffey wrote in a press release.

“Junk science” blames CO2 for changes in climate

Posted Monday,
February 24, 2020
16 ·

$3.65-million Waterloo Bridge restoration begins

Posted Monday,
February 24, 2020
0 ·

Research indicates plants routinely communicate

Posted Monday,
February 24, 2020
0 ·

Local couple will buy Warrenton wine, gift shop

Posted Monday,
February 24, 2020
1 ·
Photos/Don Del Rosso
Jeanne-Marie and Maximilian A. Tufts III plan to close The Town Duck for two weeks in mid-March to prepare for reopening under their ownership.
Annette Johnson, who has owned The Town Duck since 1993, says she never “entertained” previous offers to buy the business.
We will continue to cater to a wide range of interests and styles and clients. We will keep the fish and wine and cheese going. The food will still be a big part of it. It’s going to be the same duck, with a new waddle.
— Jeanne-Marie Tufts
The Town Duck
• What: Gift, wine and gourmet food shop

• Where: 100 Main St., Warrenton

• Owner: Annette Johnson

• Founded: 1976

• Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

• Phone: 540-347-7237.

• Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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

The 44-year-old downtown Warrenton gift, wine and gourmet food shop will get a new owner next month.

Annette Johnson in early March expects to complete the sale of The Town Duck to Jeanne-Marie Tufts, who along with her husband Maximilian A. Tufts III and their four children, lives near Warrenton.

“We’re in the final stages of working through our contract,” Mr. Tufts said.

Mrs. Johnson, 77, and the Tufts declined to disclose any financial aspects related to the deal.

The three first discussed the idea of Mrs. Johnson’s selling them the business last fall. Negotiations got serious in January.

For health reasons, the shop owner has wanted to retire for about three years.

“I’m physically challenged,” said Mrs. Johnson, who wouldn’t elaborate.

In the last few years, two parties “approached” her about selling the 100 Main St. business to them.

But, Mrs. Johnson never “entertained” any offers for it.

Both prospects lived outside of Fauquier and wouldn’t be a good fit for the shop, she concluded.

“It just seemed it wouldn’t be the same,” Mrs. Johnson said.

But the Tufts — both Fauquier natives with strong and decades’-long ties to the area — know the community well, she said.

And, in a way, it helps that Mrs. Tufts, 39, “sort of grew up” at the shop.

Her mother Anne Schalestock, 65, has worked there for 15 years and will continue to do so under the family’s ownership.

“They’ll do well,” Mrs. Johnson said of the Tufts. “I’ll do whatever I can to help them succeed. I’ll be here as long as they want me” to assist with the transition and beyond, as needed.

The Tufts returned to Fauquier in 2016, when Mr. Tufts retired from the Marine Corps. A jet fighter pilot, he served 13 years in the military.

“We moved around at the time of Max’s military career” and the family wanted to come home, said Mrs. Tufts, 39, a physical therapist and yoga instructor. “We were digging in for the long haul.”

The couple eventually hoped to start a business of their own but initially didn’t know what kind.

“We wanted to somehow end up in the community, working,” said Mrs. Tufts, who will own The Town Duck. “What that looked like, we weren’t entirely sure. But we wanted to collaborate on something in Old Town.”

But, “it wasn’t something so specific that our target was retail,” she said.

“We wanted to have an impact,” added Mr. Tufts, 40, who until late last year worked for a small, Middleburg-based financial advising firm.

He described them as “humbled” by the opportunity to buy the shop to continue and build upon the services it provides.

“We saw this as being able to kind of carry the torch for the Town Duck,” Mr. Tufts explained. “It has been a staple of the community for 40-something years.”

While Mrs. Tufts has no intentions of “re-inventing the wheel,” there will be changes.

The 3,200-square-foot shop will shut for two weeks in mid-March for remodeling and to ease logistics of the business changing hands.

The Town Duck still will carry table top items, lamps, china and the like, Mrs. Tufts said.

“We will continue to cater to a wide range of interests and styles and clients,” Mrs. Tufts said. “We will keep the fish and wine and cheese going. The food will still be a big part of it. It’s going to be the same duck, with a new waddle.”

New inventory will include first-year baby products, including rattles, book, clothes and some toys, for example.

Mrs. Tufts also wants to feature more Virginia-made products such as handbags, jewelry and pottery.

“What I’m hoping is going to make this successful is that we let it be organic and fluid and kind of see who comes in through the doors and what their interests are and their age group and lifestyles are like,” she said.

In mid-March, The Town Duck will launch a new website, using it and Facebook to heighten the shop’s online profile and to promote new products and in-store events.

Robin Payne opened The Town Duck at 31 Main St. in 1976, according to Mrs. Johnson. Berkley Gallery today occupies the space.

Ms. Payne owned the business for about a decade before selling it to Madeleine “Bibi” Wallach de Heller.

After working there for about seven years, Mrs. Johnson bought the shop from her in 1993.

Mrs. Wallach de Heller — after several years in Switzerland — returned to the area and since has worked part-time at The Town Duck.

In 1996, Mrs. Johnson relocated the store to 19 Main St. — occupied today by the Bike Shop. The Town Duck moved to its current location in 2007.

Mrs. Johnson had never envisioned herself as a business owner.

But The Town Duck experience grew on her.

“I never dreamed about retail,” admitted today’s longest-tenured Main Street merchant. “From the first day I came to work for Bibi, everybody who walked through the door — I knew them. And it was a just a big social thing. It was great fun.”

Born and raised in Jamaica, she left the Caribbean island in 1960 at age 18 to live with an aunt and uncle in Maryland.

That year, she got a job as an administrative assistant at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington where she met her future husband — Edward Johnson, a successful Realtor.

Mr. Johnson played polo with a general who headed the embassy’s military mission, she said.

“That’s how I got to know him,” Mrs. Johnson said.

After they married — she was 23 years old and he 48 at the time — the couple moved to his home near Orlean. Besides Mrs. Johnson, a daughter and two grandchildren survive him.

The Old Town resident most of all will miss her customers.

“But I’m not leaving Warrenton,” she said. “I have my life here.”

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

Warrenton farmhouse, 48 acres sell for $1.38 million

Posted Monday,
February 24, 2020
0 ·
Built just north of Warrenton around 1890, Ingleton sold last week for $1.38 million.
A renovated 19th-century farmhouse on 48 acres just north of Warrenton sold last week for $1.38 million.

Built around 1890, the stone and clapboard home along Keith Road has five bedrooms and 3-1/2 baths. The Ingleton Farm property includes a barn, tenant house, two-car garage and in-ground pool.

The property went on the market in January with an asking price of $1.195 million, according to

Rocky Westfall of Atoka Properties represented the seller. Susie Wertjes of Samson Properties represented the buyer.

The Marshall District sale tops the most recent list of Fauquier transactions.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Feb. 13-19, 2020.

Cedar Run District

Mary A. and Hamilton S. Green, by substitute trustee, to Bank of America NA, 1 acre, 3603 Midland Road, Midland, $172,315, foreclosure.

M. Scott and Carolyn Chambers to E. Brock and Betsy K. Price, 88.84 acres, and 4.15 acres, off Rogues Road, near Midland, $405,000.

Penelope K. Geddes to Michael H. Smiley, 12.26 acres, Lot 10, Beaver Ridge Estates Subdivision, 6131 Miles Lane, near Warrenton, $525,000.

Nicolino and Frances M. Casale to Caliber Homebuilder Inc., 2.22 acres, James Madison Highway, near Warrenton, $100,000.

Melissa J. Kirkpatrick to S.A. Crane Construction Co. Inc., 9.92 acres and 0.93 acre, 12261 Old Mill Road, Midland, $225,000.

Center District

Zachary A. and Ashley T. Perry to Mark J. and Meleana M. Moore, Lot 18, W.U. Parkinson Division, 156 Sterling Court, Warrenton, $377,000.

Mark and Lindsay Smyers to Carl F. Gunnell III, Unit A-11R, Hillsborough II Condominiums, 14 Falmouth Court, Warrenton, $265,000.

Halbert C. Harlow and Kelley L. Pulisic to Susan R. Stultz, 0.25 acre, Lot 1-A, Bartenstein Subdivision, 142 Madison St., Warrenton, $330,000.

James D. and Amber D. Sabia to Michael A. and Ilana A. Beck, Lot 36, Edgemont Subdivision, 205 Autumn Wind Court, $496,000.

Lee District

Eland LLC, Zhuohui Zhang as member, to Daniel Noel and Kelly Raso, 1.65 acres, Lot 9, Tanglewood Estates Subdivision, 14070 Silver Hill Road, Sumerduck, $285,000.

Thomas J. Young Jr., by substitute trustee, to LRW Investments & Property Management LLC, 20,250 square feet, Lot 13, Section B1, Fox Meade Subdivision, 11180 Crest Lane, Bealeton, $181,000, foreclosure.

NVR Inc. to Shannon J. Leight, Lot 20, Neighborhood B, Phase 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7530 Hancock St., Bealeton, $268,990.

NVR Inc. to Matthews S. Minor, Lot 21, Neighborhood B, Phase 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7532 Hancock St., Bealeton, $267,990.

Morgan and Timothy W. Wolfe Jr. to Demar T. Bonilla and Sylmaries DeLarosa. Lot 127, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7603 Hancock St., Bealeton, $452,000.

Marshall District

Ingleton Farm LLC, David Wiley and William Turnure as managing members, to Jessica R. and Jonathan A. Waldron, 31.84 acres, 7597 Keith Road, and 16.35 acres, 7599 acres, near Warrenton, $1,380,000.

Donald R. Yowell to John M. Rhodes, April C. Rhodes, Michael D. Rhodes and Deborah C. Rhodes, 0.51 acre, Lot D, Timberline Subdivision, 4289 Lunceford Lane, Marshall, $220,000.

Kenneth J. and Magaly B. Reder to Albin J. Reder, 3.5 acres, 8055 Riverside Road Farm, near Marshall, $400,000.

Castlerock Enterprises Inc. to Castlerock Enterprises Inc. and William R. and Katherine E. Tapsell, 4.36 aces, Lot 1-A, Chattins Run North Subdivision, 2854 Chattins Run Lane, near Delaplane, $100,000.

Leona V. Hammond to St. LF LLC, 4 acres, off Shipmadilly Lane, near Warrenton, $40,000.

Michael E. and Melanie Lillard to Gabriel Boie and Kasey T. Morris, 41.9 acres, 8531 Holtzclaw Road, near Warrenton, $800,000.

Scott District

The Plains Real Estate LLC, Christopher R. Malone as managing member, to 6483 Main Street Property LLC 3,399 square feet and 1,836 square feet, 6483 Main St., The Plains, $645,000.

Michael Straight to Audra L. and James M. Bayes, 7.57 acres, 5701 Wilshire Drive, near Warrenton, $629,500.

Robert E. and Katherine Canfield to Matthew A. and Kaleigh Henderson, Lot 2, Warren Woods Subdivision, 7026 Kelly Road, near Warrenton, $370,000.

Jessica N. Powell to Joshua E. Hernandez, 7.67 acres, 5030 Hopewell Road, near the Plains, $592,000.

Aaron and Ronnee Pinder to Lexicon Government Services LLC, Lot 93, Phase 8C-2, Brookside Subdivision, 7374 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $520,000.

Lakeside Homes LLC, Devin T. Finan as managing member, to Mark and Amie Bowman, 0.28 ace, Lot 25-A, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, 4853 Point Road, near Warrenton, $699,000.

Lexicon Government Services LLC to Mona Erwin, Lot 93, Phase 8C-2, Brookside Subdivision, 7374 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $520,000.

NVR Inc. to William B. and Marie N. Roe, Lot 61, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, 5178 Island Court, near Warrenton, $590,000.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
February 24, 2020
0 ·

New cancer center offers “better and safer” care

Posted Friday,
February 21, 2020
1 ·
Care will be better and safer here. The patient experience will be much better. Our goal is to bring care under one roof.
— Dr. Raj Pal Manchandani
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Often physically- and mentally-draining treatment for cancer patients will get more comfortable and convenient because of the 25,640-square-foot building dedicated Thursday in Warrenton.

Company and community leaders cut the ribbon on the $12.5-million Fauquier Health Center for Cancer Care — the fruition of plans that started seven years ago.

Two-time cancer survivor Roni Frederick called treatment close to home — first in Pennsylvania and more recently in Fauquier — “my salvation . . . . You have no idea how much that means to you, especially when you have to make several visits the same day.”

Ms. Frederick, along with Mayor Carter Nevill and Fauquier Health officials spoke before the ribbon cutting outside the new structure at 210 W. Shirley Ave.

“For our community, local treatment options mean less time away from family and friends,” Mr. Nevill said. “It means less time needed off from work. It means less time worrying about traffic and the stress associated with it.

“It means residents of Fauquier County and the surrounding area who are fighting cancer will not have to sacrifice time better spent in pursuit of their own happiness and well-being.”

Although Fauquier Health can’t offer radiation therapy until a non-compete agreement with Novant Health expires in several years, the new center immediately will improve conditions for patients when it opens next month.

Patients receiving infusion therapy — for cancer, MS and other diseases — spend one to eight hours sitting with IVs connected to them, explained Jill Hodgson, a nurse at the center.

The existing infusion center, just off the hospital’s main lobby, provides far less space and privacy, Ms. Hodgson said. In the new center, each infusion “bay” has a least one large window, a heated massage chair and a TV, along with the benefit of parking just outside the front door.

“Care will be better and safer here,” said Dr. Raj Pal Manchandani, a Fauquier Health hematologist/oncologist. “The patient experience will be much better. Our goal is to bring care under one roof.”

The hospital’s urologists already have moved into the single-story building, which includes an expansive pharmacy, patient exam rooms, staff offices and meeting space for support groups and educational programs.

“This project has been many years in the making – seven years to be exact, and we are grateful to the contribution of time and resources from our team at Fauquier Health and LifePoint Health, as well as the support we have received from the community of Warrenton, including our own hospital auxiliary and volunteers,” Fauquier Health CEO Chad Melton said.

David Dill, president/CEO of Tennessee-based LifePoint, which has 89 hospitals, said: “These are very important investments to make . . . .

“You’ve got our commitment that we are going to continue to grow services to keep patients close to home.”

In a recent interview, Mr. Melton said LifePoint has made more than $48 million worth of investments here since buying not-for-profit Fauquier Health in late 2013. The purchase agreement called for LifePoint, a for-profit corporation, to invest at least $54 million in Fauquier within a decade.

“We’ve invested $22 million the last three years,” Mr. Melton said.

In addition to the cancer center, major expenditures include a $1.8-million robotic surgical system, a $2.2-million cardiac cardiac catheterization lab and $1.2 million for urology equipment.

Facing intense competition, Fauquier Health will continue to expand services, Mr. Melton said.

He acknowledged that the local hospital faced a critical nursing shortage several years ago when it had to use more than 30 contracted nurses to meet staffing needs. The number of contract nurses has dropped to a handful as Fauquier Health has done a better job of attracting and retaining staff, Mr. Melton said.

When veteran obstetrician-gynecologists left, that created another challenge that took the hospital a while to address. But, has attracted successors and has expanded services in its birthing center with a midwife.

The hospital also has recruited neurologists and other specialists, he noted.

“Everything in health care changes, that’s an absolute truth,” Mr. Melton said. “For us to be successful, we have to improve overall, constantly focus on patient safety and get the right people (staff members) in the right place.

“Expectations have changed . . . . LifePoint understands that and talks about it every day.”

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

Fauquier Health Investments... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: The Plains’ new pumper

Posted Friday,
February 21, 2020
0 ·
The Plains Volunteer Fire Co.’s new Pierce Arrow pumper tanker can haul 2,400 gallons of water.

The cost of The Plains Volunteer Fire Co.’s new 2,400-gallon pumper tanker.

Purchased entirely with local donations, the Pierce Arrow XT should arrive within a week, according to company President Tony Wells.

The tanker features a six-person cab and a 525-horsepower Detroit Diesel engine, according to Mr. Wells.


Presidential candidates on the ballot for the Democratic Party primary in Virginia on Tuesday, March 3.

Three Democratic presidential candidates ran in the state’s 2016 primary — Hillary R. Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Mark J. O’Malley. The eventual nominee, Ms. Clinton carried Fauquier and Virginia.

The Republican primary that year featured 13 candidates, with Donald J. Trump winning the county and the state.

With President Trump the presumptive Republican nominee, the GOP will conduct no Virginia primary this year.

Because Virginia doesn’t register voters by party affiliation, any eligible resident may participate in the March 3 primary, with these Democrats on the ballot:

• Cory Booker.

• Julian Castro.

• Bernie Sanders.

• Elizabeth Warren.

• Marianne Williamson.

• Michael Bennet.

• Joseph R. Biden.

• Amy Klobuchar.

• Tulsi Gabbard.

• Deval Patrick.

• Pete Buttigieg.

• Andrew Yang.

• Tom Steyer.

• Michael Bloomberg.


Combined years that Ray Graham of Catlett served on Fauquier’s board of supervisors and the Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority Board.

In 1999, Mr. Graham won the first of three consecutive four-terms as Cedar Run District’s representative on the board of supervisors.

He served 16 years on the WSA board — from 2003 through December.

Mr. Graham multiple times served as chairman of the boards and on several of their committees.

The retired Fairfax County Community and Recreation Services administrator moved to Fauquier in 1977.

$7.5 million

The increase Superintendent David Jeck proposes for the Fauquier County Public Schools operating budget in fiscal 2021, which begins July 1.

Up 5.1 percent from this year, Dr. Jeck’s $155.8-milllion proposal calls for an increase of $3.8 million in county funding, with the state accounting for the balance.

That would raise county support for public schools to $96.9 million in the new fiscal year.

The school board will conduct a public hearing on the proposal at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at Fauquier High. After any board modifications, the proposed budget will go to the county board of supervisors, which controls funding. The supervisors next month will conduct a hearing on the entire county budget, including schools, before adopting a spending plan and tax rates.


The number of public parking spaces in downtown Warrenton.

The total includes 611 on-street spaces and another 561 in public parking lots, according a consultant’s report in 2017.

“Overall, our observations suggest that adequate parking is available in the study area, but it may not be perceived as convenient for some users given the required walking distances from some parked locations,” Walker Parking Consultants wrote in its report.

Driver allegedly threw object, breaking windshield

Posted Friday,
February 21, 2020
2 ·
Deputies arrested James Leon Webster in Bealeton on Thursday afternoon.
A Bealeton man faces felony and misdemeanor charges after allegedly throwing an object from his car that struck and shattered another motorist’s windshield Thursday afternoon near Catlett.

The victim reported “he was travelling north on Catlett Road at approximately 4 p.m. when an object struck his windshield causing it to shatter,” sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said.

The incident took place about halfway between Calverton and Catlett.

“The victim’s vehicle was equipped with a dashboard camera,” Sgt. Hartman said. “Upon viewing the footage, deputies observed a brown Buick sedan driving south on Catlett Road. The driver of the Buick was observed throwing an object from the driver’s window which struck the victim’s windshield.

“At approximately 4:20 p.m., a 9-1-1 caller reported a brown Buick heading south on Catlett Road and reported the driver of the Buick throwing objects at passing vehicles. This caller provided a license plate number for the Buick.”

Deputies spotted the Buick and it driver in the 11000 block of Willow Drive in Bealeton, the sergeant said.

James Leon Webster, 42, faces a felony charge for throwing a missile at a vehicle and a misdemeanor for destruction of property, Sgt. Hartman said. Mr. Webster remain at the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center on Friday morning.

“Anyone with information about this incident or experiencing a similar occurrence on Route 28 on Thursday afternoon is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 540-347-3300,” the sergeant added.

Gentle Harvest closing Marshall store and cafe

Posted Thursday,
February 20, 2020
7 ·
Photo/Gentle Harvest via Facebook
The former bank lobby renovated as the Gentle Harvest market.
A rendering of the building at 8372 W. Main St. in Marshall.
At this time, there are no plans to either lease or sell the building. We are thankful to our loyal customers for the support of our business and our commitment to regenerative and sustainable local food systems.
— Carol Zarda, company representative
Gentle Harvest, the organic/humane food market and café that opened on Marshall’s Main Street in the fall of 2016, will go out of business.

Signs posted on the front door say Gentle Harvest will remain closed Friday and will reopen Saturday, Feb. 22, for a liquidation sale. A banner on the company website also says the store will close.

With ambitious plans for growth, veteran entrepreneur Sandy Lerner opened the store as an extension of her organic/humane business on the 800-acre Ayrshire Farm near Upperville. It replaced her Home Farm Store that operated for 12 years in Middleburg.

She also owns the Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville.

Ms. Lerner purchased the 12,500-square-foot former Marshall National Bank headquarters building on three-quarters of an acre for $715,000 in May 2016. It went on the market after PNC Bank, its owner after a series of mergers, closed the office in 2013.

The plan called for investing a similar amount to remodel the brick structure for Gentle Harvest.

It remains unknown what will happen to the real estate, assessed at $1.54 million for county tax purposes.

“At this time, there are no plans to either lease or sell the building,” Gentle Harvest representative Carol Zarda wrote in an email Friday morning. “We are thankful to our loyal customers for the support of our business and our commitment to regenerative and sustainable local food systems.”

Gentle Harvest Closing Signs by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Semple seeks Warrenton’s Ward 2 town council seat

Posted Thursday,
February 20, 2020
3 ·
William T. Semple
I just think he’d be an excellent councilman. I like what he stands for. He’s passionate. He’s fair. He has the people in mind.
— Ward 2 resident Carol Hegwood
William Tunstall Semple
• Age: 73

• Work: Manager, Civix-DDI LLC, Delaplane, 1994 to 2016; president/CEO, Carrington Management Services Inc., Marshall; real estate agent, Frank Hardy Inc., Charlottesville, 2004 to present; CFO, PhatRat Technologies Inc., Longmont Co., 2000-03.

• Home: Falmouth Street, Warrenton.

• Office sought: Ward 2 seat on Warrenton Town Council; four-year term starts July 1.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, philosophy, Hamilton (N.Y.) College, 1968; Phillips Academy Andover, 1964.

• Military service: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, 1968 to 1971.

• Organizations: Clarinetist, Fauquier Community Band, 2014 to present

• Family: Wife Sally, who has two children from a previous marriage.

• Hobbies: Playing the clarinet, woodworking
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

With much of the work completed on a lawsuit to stop a controversial mixed-use project in Warrenton, the first-time candidate last month decided to run for the town council’s Ward 2 seat.

For more than three years, William T. “Bill” Semple immersed himself in a pitched battle to halt the proposal along Walker Drive.

After a nearly two-hour public hearing in July 2017, the council voted, 6-1, in support of the massive project.

Mr. Semple, 73, played a key role in initiating and preparing the lawsuit to nullify the council’s decision.

But a Fauquier County Circuit Court judge in 2019 ruled that the council acted properly. Unwilling to accept that decision, several Walker Drive neighbors appealed it to the Virginia Supreme Court.

The state’s highest court probably this spring will conduct a hearing and later rule on the complex land-use law dispute.

“I’ve been watching the Walker Drive lawsuit,” said Mr. Semple, who moved to Warrenton about six years ago. “And I felt that the resolution of that case was really important. But then I said, ‘Well, it’s basically done. What’s been said has been said. Whatever ideas I may have had regarding it have been made’.”

That effectively freed him to seek the council seat.

Mr. Semple hopes to defeat incumbent Alec Burnett in the May 5 election. Making it a three-way race, Linda “Sunny” Reynolds, who lost her At-large council seat two years ago, formally entered the Ward 2 contest race on Tuesday.

Mr. Burnett four years ago faced no opposition in his first bid for the seat.

The May election will feature all five ward seats on the council. As of Thursday, seven candidates had declared for those posts. Town citizens in 2018 elected the two at-large council members and the mayor to four-year terms.

Mr. Burnett, who this week announced plans to seek a second term, and Ms. Reynolds voted for the Walker Drive proposal.

Mr. Semple believes the council mishandled the Walker Drive application.

“It’s what inspired me to do this,” he said of his decision to run. “Walker Drive shows how I thought a decision should not be made.”

Though he backs the idea of mixed-use development, the proposed scale struck him as excessive for the area.

The 31.4-acre project calls for offices, shops, restaurants, 76 apartments, 40 condominiums, entertainment businesses and could include a multi-screen movie theater and a bowling alley.

“Too big, too much, not well-considered,” said Mr. Semple, a self-described retired entrepreneur. “Not enough preliminary analysis as to whether it was necessary. Not enough concern about the impact of the traffic on Walker Drive.”

One traffic study found that the project ultimately would put 22,000 new vehicle trips per day on a four-lane divided road that currently handles 4,400 trips per day, he said.

Mr. Semple also believes the applicant should have produced an economic development impact analysis of the project.

The planning commission makes land-use recommendations to the council, which has final authority. In February 2017, it recommended that the council reject the Walker Drive project. About six months later, the council approved the rezoning application.

But Mr. Semple and other critics believe that the council should have returned to the project to the commission for further review because of changes in the application after the advisory panel made its recommendation.

“What the town council had ruled on was not what the planning commission had seen and was presented to the public as essentially a fait accompli,” the St. Louis native said. “I really did feel that the (town council public) hearing was nothing more than basic formality.”

Mr. Semple also faulted the town’s application review process.

“The problem with Walker Drive is that neighborhoods immediately across from it were not really part of the conversation at all,” he contended. “They were left completely left out.”

He doesn’t necessarily blame the incumbent for that, Mr. Semple said.

“I don’t want to be too negative about it,” he said. “But the fact is many of the people that I’ve talked to in my ward don’t know who he is.”

Mr. Semple added: “He doesn’t communicate with them regularly. He’s never knocked on any doors on a regular basis that says, ‘Here I am. I represent you’. That doesn’t mean he has acted in an unqualified way when he’s out there doing his thing.

“As I talk to people around the ward, they feel like he didn’t look after them.”

On other issues, Mr. Semple:

• Objects the idea of annexing the largely-commercial “Panhandle” along Routes 15/29 north of town and property — much of it vacant — between the Eastern Bypass and Meetze Road.

Incorporating The Panhandle would boost the town’s business and meals tax collections. That property includes three new vehicle dealerships and restaurants that include Outback Steakhouse, Denny’s, Five Guys and IHOP. The meals tax provides Warrenton’s largest single source of revenue.

“It’s somewhat of a cop-out,” to annex that area, Mr. Semple said. “It says we can’t generate enough revenues from what we have.”

Warrenton officials believe the property east of town, perhaps including Lord Fairfax Community College, could expand economic development opportunities.

He could back the town’s incorporating that land, “provided it remains open space and you can walk on it” and functions as a “buffer,” separating developed and rural areas, Mr. Semple said.

“Growing for growth’s sake isn’t good policy,” he added.

• Remains uncertain over whether Warrenton should have purchased the former BB&T bank at 21 Main St. for the new Town Hall.

The town paid $2.2 million for the 30,000-square-foot building and 1.25-acre site.

“I have mixed emotions” about the decision, Mr. Semple said. “I think it’s a big expense. . . . What I don’t know is, is it needed?”

Still, the former bank provides easy pedestrian access and ample office space to accommodate a staff that appears to crammed into the existing Town Hall, he admitted.

“There are positives,” Mr. Semple said.

A plaintiff in the Walker Drive lawsuit against the town, Carol Hegwood, 76, plans to vote for him.

Ms. Hegwood lives at the Villas at the Ridges subdivision along Walker Drive just north of project site.

“Just working on that, I got to know him,” she said of the effort to stop the Walker Drive proposal. “I just think he’d be an excellent councilman. I like what he stands for. He’s passionate. He’s fair. He has the people in mind.”

Developed as proposed, the Walker Drive project would overwhelm the area with traffic and noise and make it like Prince William County, Ms. Hegwood suggested.

In 2016, she voted for Mr. Burnett but won’t again because he backed the project, the retired Fauquier public schools worker said.

“I want someone that’s supportive of my belief, and I just feel that Walker Drive — the way it’s proposed — it’s not what we need here,” Ms. Hegwood said.

Mr. Semple would represent the interests of Ward 2 residents, she said.

“He will work for the people and he will keep us informed, which is something we don’t have now.”

Ms. Hegwood added: “I moved here almost 50 years ago, and I want to keep Warrenton as it is.”

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

Warrenton Town Council Ward... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Throwback Thursday: Shot ends party at fire hall

Posted Thursday,
February 20, 2020
0 ·
February 16, 1995 — Warrenton Volunteer Rescue Squad members Russel Plott (left) and Dennis Passmore (right) and New Baltimore firefighter C.Q. Ritchie remove oxygen masks and take a break after battling a blaze that caused an estimated $80,000 worth of damage to a home on Settler’s Ridge near New Baltimore.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of February 24, 1995

Shooting ends party at Catlett firehouse

A private party ended with gunshots early Sunday morning outside the Catlett fire hall on Route 28.

A Midland man suffered a superficial wound to the neck as he walked away from an altercation outside the fire hall shortly after midnight Feb. 19, according to the sheriff’s office.

He was among a small group of people attending a private party when a fight broke out in the parking lot.

Sheriff Joe Higgs said deputies are looking for two suspects who fled in a rented, green Ford Taurus. Deputies recovered the car at the Wheaton Arms Apartments in Warrenton on Sunday and interviewed a suspect, but they have yet to arrest anyone.

Science museum to honor Jack Gibbons

The Science Museum of Virginia on Wednesday announced it will give Dr. John H. “Jack” Gibbons of The Plains the “Life Achievement in Science” award this spring.

Gibbons serves as the science adviser to President Bill Clinton and as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“He is known for presenting complex issues in lay language and for providing advice in a manner which de-politicizes scientific policy,” museum spokeswoman Nancy Taft said. “He has been appointed to executive branch jobs by both Democratic and Republican administrations and has won the respect of lawmakers in both parties.”

A Harrisonburg native, Gibbons earned his bachelor’s degree at Randolph-Macon College in 1949 and his doctorate at Duke University in 1954.

PEC to ponder its role after Disney

The Disney’s America battle has caused the Piedmont Environmental Council to do some soul searching.

As a result of PEC’s triumph over the Walt Disney Co.’s plans for a 3,000-acre history theme park and mixed-use development near Haymarket, preservation and citizen groups from across Virginia and beyond have sought assistance and advice from the Warrenton-based nonprofit group.

How or should PEC respond to such requests outside its nine-county service region, which includes Fauquier and stretches from Loudoun to Albemarle counties?

PEC hopes to begin answering those questions during a March 2-3 retreat at the Airlie Conference Center just north of Warrenton.

“We’re going to sit down and try to figure out to what extent it makes sense to modify what we used to be,” said PEC President Bob Dennis, who has announced his plan to retire soon. “We’re going to figure out what is our proper role with respect to those requests.”

Fauquier High too hot, too crowded

Fauquier High Principal Robert Sites worries about spring rain that forces 140 physical education students to share the same gym floor and the first warm days of May when classroom temperatures can exceed 100 degrees.

Sites and other school officials hope voters will help solve those problems by approving a $13-million bond referendum March 14. The package includes $4.8 million for FHS:

• $2.3 million to install air conditioning.

• $1.5 million for a new, 15,872-square-foot gym, the school’s second.

Free internet access for homes, businesses

Two hundred Fauquier businesses and homes in April will get free internet access as part of a George Mason University demonstration project.

The $1.3-million GMU project already has put three county schools online, allowing students and teachers access to the global computer network.

As part of the project, which has a $350,000 U.S. Department of Commerce grant, GMU will provide provide the Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce with 50 internet access accounts, which the organization will allocation to members.

GMU will take applications for the other 150 accounts, with priority given to households with students in county schools.

Do you support the plan to expand Cedar Lee and Taylor middle schools?

Posted Thursday,
February 20, 2020
1 ·

Warrenton teen earns spot in Washington Opera class

Posted Thursday,
February 20, 2020
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
February 20, 2020
0 ·

“The simple truth” about the Barrel Oak proposal

Posted Thursday,
February 20, 2020
9 ·

Free family mental health course begins March 5

Posted Wednesday,
February 19, 2020
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
February 19, 2020
0 ·

Route 29 south reopens after crash at Vint Hill Road

Posted Wednesday,
February 19, 2020
9 ·
Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
With all Route 29 travel lanes closed at Vint Hill Road, only northbound traffic could get through the intersection via the right turn lane Wednesday morning.
3:30 p.m. UPDATE (#3): All northbound and southbound through lanes on Route 29 at Route 215 are now open but left turns are restricted at the intersection as emergency traffic signal repairs continue. No LEFT turns are permitted in either direction at the intersection of Route 29 and Route 215. Emergency traffic signal repairs are expected to continue through the night with intermittent lane closures and/or full stoppages.

Motorists should expect major delays on Route 29 near Vint Hill Road in because of a Wednesday morning crash involving a dump truck and traffic signals, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.  
As of 10 a.m., both southbound lanes of Route 29 lanes remained closed.

Single-file northbound traffic got by using the right turn lane.

VDOT signal technicians will repair the damage before the highway can reopen.
“There is no estimate for reopening the travel lanes,” VDOT said in a press release.
Updates and other real-time travel information can be found on the 511 Virginia website, the free VDOT 511 mobile app or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. Local updates are also posted to

Virginia poised to outlaw driving with phone in hand

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
6 ·
Stock Photo
Second and subsequent violations would result in $250 fines.
We can all feel a part of saving dozens or hundreds of lives over the next few years, including the one out of every six traffic fatalities that is a person walking or biking.
— Brantley Tyndall, director of outreach for Bike Walk RVA
2020 General Assembly
• Convened: Wednesday, Jan. 8

• Adjourns: Saturday, March 7

• Website:

Fauquier’s legislators

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

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

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

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

RICHMOND — The state Senate voted Tuesday in favor of a bill that would prohibit holding a phone while driving a motor vehicle on Virginia roadways and which implements a penalty for the traffic violation.

House Bill 874 will head to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam, who has voiced support for prohibiting the use of handheld cellphones while driving. The measure, sponsored by Del. Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond), would go into effect at the start of 2021.

“I’m happy that HB874 passed 29-9 in the Senate,” Sen Bourne said in an email. “HB874 will make our roadways safer for all Virginians by prohibiting drivers from holding a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle.”

The House of Delegates approved the bill Feb. 5 with a 72-24 vote after incorporating four bills with similar proposals. Violations of the measures in HB 874 would result in a fine of $125 for the first offense and $250 for subsequent offenses. If a violation occurs in a highway work zone, there would be a mandatory fee of $250.

Del. Bourne said the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, of which he is a member, supports making Virginia roadways safer without risking “disparate application of law.”

“We were happy to work with Drive Smart Virginia to improve the legislation to ensure that the new law is applied fairly and equitably,” he said.

Hands-free driving garners bicameral and bipartisan support, according to Brantley Tyndall, director of outreach for Bike Walk RVA. He said the defeat of previous bills with similar measures in past years was deflating, but that Del. Bourne’s latest proposal reworked the language to make it successful.

“Bike Walk RVA is happy to see leadership from our area, namely chief patron Delegate Jeff Bourne, choosing to lead this issue on the House side with his bill HB 874,” Mr. Tyndall said in an email.

He called Del. Bourne’s bill a “commonsense safety measure” and said he was glad to see support for the bill from old and new leadership in the General Assembly.

“We can all feel a part of saving dozens or hundreds of lives over the next few years, including the one out of every six traffic fatalities that is a person walking or biking,” Mr. Tyndall said.

Current law prohibits reading or typing messages on a personal communications device while driving. However, holding such a device is legal, except while driving in a work zone.

The bill would not apply to emergency vehicle drivers, such as police officers and firefighters, nor employees of the Department of Transportation while performing official duties. It would also exempt drivers who are parked legally or at a full stop.

Last fall, the Richmond City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to ban using mobile devices while driving. With a signature from Gov. Northam, HB 874 would make the same policy statewide law.

Senate Bill 932 proposed adding school zones to the list of areas where holding a phone while driving is prohibited, which is more limited than HB 874’s proposal. SB 932 failed to advance from a House subcommittee on Monday.

Richmond Police Chief Will Smith said during a press conference in January that his department supports HB 874 and that anyone with children shouldn’t be surprised by the proposal.

“One of the very first things that we all talk about with our kids is, ‘Make sure that you leave your phone out of your hand and don’t text, don’t call until you get to your destination’,” Chief Smith said. “Yet we, as an adult society, tend not to obey our own advice.”

Police: Man’s body dropped at hospital after overdose

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
1 ·
Fauquier Hospital staff members found the body at the ER around 3:30 Sunday morning, according to Warrenton police.
The body of a 27-year-old Leesburg man who died of an apparent drug overdose got dropped off early Sunday morning at the Fauquier Hospital emergency room, according to Warrenton police.

“At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, officers were dispatched to the Fauquier Hospital Emergency Room for a report of an overdose,” Officer Chai Fuller wrote Tuesday in a press release. “Upon arrival, officers found the victim had been dropped off at the emergency room and pronounced deceased.

“Officers located the individual who dropped off the deceased victim, in the restroom. After forcing entry into the restroom, the individual was found to be in possession of narcotics and paraphernalia.”

Town police arrested Devin Jay Chase, 27, of Herndon, and charged him with possession of a controlled substance. Mr. Chase remained in jail without bond Tuesday, according to Officer Fuller.

“Working in conjunction with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation determined that Chase and the deceased had been together at a location in Fauquier County (Opal), when the victim suffered from a probable heroin overdose,” the officer added. “The victim was identified as a 27-year-old male from Leesburg.”

Sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said: “The investigation determined the victim and Chase had been at the Sheetz in Opal when the victim apparently overdosed on heroin. Chase sought directions to the nearest hospital and dropped the victim at the Fauquier Hospital Emergency Room.”

Police have not released the name of the dead man. The investigation continues, Officer Fuller said.

Understanding “choice” and humanity of the unborn

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
17 ·

Sheehy Ford donates $7,000 to Fauquier FISH

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
0 ·

Six candidates announced so far for five council seats

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
1 ·
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
With the filing deadline two weeks away, six people have declared their candidacies for five Warrenton Town Council seats on the May 5 election ballot.

Warrenton voters will elect the five ward council members this spring. The two at-large seats and the mayor’s position will appear on the ballot in 2022.

Candidates must file by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, to appear on this year’s ballot

Among the five seats, only Ward 2 offers a contested election so far.

The candidates:

• Ward 1 — Heather Grimsley Sutphin, a 51-year-old marketing director, will run to succeed Jerry Wood, who will step down June 30 after six years on the council.

• Ward 2 — First-term Councilman Alec Burnett will seek re-election against challenger William Semple. Mr. Burnett, a 55-year-old hotel chain executive, faces Mr. Semple, a 73-year-old retired entrepreneur.

• Ward 3 — Brett Hamby, a 44-year-old battalion chief in the Prince William County fire/rescue department, will run for a second four-year term.

• Ward 4 — James Hartman, a 49-year-old Fauquier sheriff’s sergeant, will run to succeed Robert Kravetz, stepping down this year after two terms.

• Ward 5 — Kevin Carter, a 54-year-old hotel company president, will seek election to a second term.

To get on the ballot, a Warrenton candidate must file documents, including a petition with at least 25 signatures of registered voters in his/her ward, with the Virginia Department of Elections. The Fauquier registrar’s office has documents and instructions for candidates.

The town council sets the budget, tax rates and policy, including land-use decisions, for the 10,000-resident community.

Warrenton Town Council Ward... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Faces of Fauquier: His work has included GPS launch

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
0 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
A high school physics class helped launch Dr. Dave Bell’s career in science.
I like the slower pace of life here. Sometimes that seems a little aggravating, if you’re in a hurry. But, in general, it’s a real positive thing — to slow down and smell the roses.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Casanova man works as a systems engineer for a big McLean-based government contractor, sings in a church choir, takes weekly yoga classes and flies a 1986 Beechcraft Bonanza.

Dave Bell, 71, can’t stay busy enough.

“There’s too many things I’m interested in,” explained Dr. Bell, who earned a doctorate in physics from Southern Methodist University in 2001. “I’ve always been curious.”

The Mitre Corp. senior staffer traces the hunger to learn and understand to his Ohio grade school years.

“I was interested in nature and what was going on around me,” said Dr. Bell, who growing up spent most of his free time on his grandfather’s farm near Dayton.

A regular library user, he borrowed books on “subatomic particles and all the components of matter and was really intrigued by it,” recalled the son of an insurance salesman and a school cook. “And how I got on that, I don’t know. I guess I was a little nerdy.”

But a high school physics class helped him make sense of it all.

“I thought this is where you can really find out about how it fits together,” said Dr. Bell. “That’s what encouraged me to study physics in college. I never turned back from that.”

Besides working in the private sector, his 50-year career includes a couple of long stints with the U.S. Department of Defense, where he served as Director of Science and Technology and Manager of Engineering Development.

Over the years, he also has taught master’s program courses in engineering at SMU and The Johns Hopkins University and has written papers with titles such as “Quality and Productivity Comparisons of Object-Oriented and Cleanroom Software Developments.”

As a volunteer tutor with The Plains Community League, he teaches middle-schoolers beginning algebra on Tuesday afternoons.

“I like doing for others,” he said of tutoring. “When the light bulb comes on in the student, it’s just a thrill.”

Much of his work with Mitre entails “English-to-English” translation between scientists and engineers, who bring different “perspectives” to tasks.

“The scientists want to learn for learning’s sake, which is wonderful,” said Dr. Bell, smiling. “The engineers want to build something. Just tell me what I need to know. Give me an equation and I’ll create something with it.”

When that process works, nothing satisfies him more professionally, he said.

As a General Dynamics’ department head in the late 1970s, Dr. Bell led a team of 10 engineers that helped develop for DOD what would become the first Global Positioning System.

Among other things, his team prepared critical test plans and data analysis for the project.

“The Air Force was trying to decide, should we build this set of satellites and ground-tracking equipment such that we could have this kind of a navigation system?” he said.

The military decided to proceed with the development of GPS.

“It was way cool,” Dr. Bell said of the results and his work on the project. “We could never have envisioned how ubiquitous it is now. Everybody uses it for something.”

Holding up his iPhone 6, he laughed and added: “I would never have guessed it would have been in something like this.”

• Age

• Home 
Near Casanova

• Work
Systems engineer, The Mitre Corp., McLean, 2007 to present; operations vice president, Vista Research Inc., Arlington, 2005-07; science and technology director, U.S. Department of Defense, Arlington, 2002-05; engineering development manager/division head, DoD, Dallas, 1982-2002.

• What do you like about your job?
The thrill of creating something new and watching it work. It’s a slow thrill, because you can follow along for a long time and not feel like you’re not making much progress. Or, if you’re making progress, it seems incredibly slow. But when you get there, it’s well worth it.

• Family
Wife, Linda; five children, eight grandchildren

• Education
Doctorate, engineering, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 2001; master’s degree, business administration, National University, San Diego, 1980; bachelor’s degree, physics, Ohio State University, 1970; Miamisburg (Ohio) High School, 1966.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Volunteer math tutor, The Plains Community League, 2019 to present; choir member, Grace Episcopal Church, The Plains, 2018 to present.

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

• Why do you live here? 
When 9/11 happened, the program I was working on lost five people in the airplanes (that struck Manhattan’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon). And one of those people was the science director of the program. At the time, I was in Dallas and they asked me to move to the Washington area to take that position.

As for Fauquier in particular, we needed a place far enough out that we could afford, because prices here were a lot more expensive than the Dallas area at the time. Also, we wanted it to be a reasonable drive to the VRE for commuting into town for work.

• How do you describe this county? 
The word I most often use is “sanctuary.” Particularly when I was commuting daily into the District, it was always a relief when I got back into Fauquier County. You could feel the stress sort of roll off of you. And I still feel that way.

I really enjoy the agricultural environment, because as a youth I spent a lot of time on a farm.

I like the slower pace of life here. Sometimes that seems a little aggravating, if you’re in a hurry. But, in general, it’s a real positive thing — to slow down and smell the roses.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I’m not sure there’s much I would change about it. I worry about the types of changes that would make it more like Loudoun or Prince William.

If I could, I would change people’s notion about throwing trash along the road. I don’t see it all the time. But, I see way too much of it.

• What do you do for fun? 
We own a plane. We like to fly. We like music — both making it and listening to it. I play piano, trombone and sing bass. We like to travel. We’ve make a lot of overseas’ trips.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I enjoy where we live a lot. I love the drive between The Plains and Middleburg. I think that’s beautiful. I like the road (Route 17) between Delaplane and Paris. I particularly enjoy the foothills.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years? 
I think it’ll be very similar to the way it is now. Hopefully, they’ll be some modernization of businesses — redevelopment, in places that have already been developed.

I don’t think it will ever be as bad as Loudoun and Prince William. It’s not that I’m anti-growth, but I’m anti-tearing-down forests and messing things up.

• Favorite TV show?
“The Newsroom.”

• Favorite movie? 
“The Sound of Music.”

• Favorite book?
“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins.

• Favorite vacation spot? 
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya.

• Favorite food? 
Filet mignon, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom? 
An upperclassman at Ohio State: “There’s no substitute for academic excellence.” I have three degrees. What I noticed was that the more education I got, I felt like not only was I better at my job, but I was better at just thinking and processing and understanding.

I also realized the more I knew, the less I actually knew.

• Who’s your hero and why?
I have three. My grandfather: He taught me the value of hard work. My high school physics teacher: He showed me the value of understanding the natural world. Stephen Hawking: Not only because he was a brilliant physicist but because of what he was able to overcome — his dreadful disease.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery? 
The easy answer is give $1 million to each of the kids. But on reflection, I think I’d rather spend a good portion of it on technology that can help with the climate change crisis.

I fear Earth will become really unlivable for maybe not my grandchildren but for my great-grandchildren, if we don’t take some serious action. And I think we could take some action — to slow it down and then buy some time and then turn it around.

But I don’t see the will to do that very strongly yet. That really concerns me.

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

Deputy attacked at hospital early Friday, authorities say

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
0 ·
Jorge Covarrubias Cuevas, 30, “suddenly . . . punched and kicked” the deputy at 7: 15 p.m., the sheriff’s office reports.
While in custody, a Marshall man attacked a deputy Friday night in the Fauquier Hospital emergency department, according to the sheriff’s office.

Jorge Covarrubias Cuevas, 30, “suddenly . . . punched and kicked” the deputy at 7: 15 a.m. Feb. 14, Sgt. James Hartman said.

Mr. Cuevas “was eventually brought under control,” Sgt. Hartman said. “He has been charged with two counts of felony assault on law enforcement.”

The deputy received treatment for injuries.

Mr. Cuevas remained in the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Our republic’s foundation shaken to the core

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
66 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
0 ·

Fauquier Health Cancer Center open house Feb. 20

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
0 ·

School system responds with help in tragedy

Posted Tuesday,
February 18, 2020
3 ·

Virginia Senate committee blocks assault weapons bill

Posted Monday,
February 17, 2020
5 ·
Photo/Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury
A citizen brought this AK-47-style rifle, with a drum magazine of more than 40 rounds, to the Jan. 20 pro-gun rally at the Capitol.
There are obviously a lot of questions about definitions in this bill. And definitions do matter.
— Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County)
2020 General Assembly
• Convened: Wednesday, Jan. 8

• Adjourns: Saturday, March 7

• Website:

Fauquier’s legislators

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

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

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

• Del. Mark Cole (R-88th/Fredericksburg).
By Graham Moomaw
Virginia Mercury
By Graham Moomaw

RICHMOND — A Virginia Senate committee voted down an assault weapon bill Monday morning, blocking the most contentious piece of the Democratic gun control agenda.

The bill — which would have banned future sales of assault weapons and outlawed magazines capable of holding more than 12 rounds — had already been watered down from its original form in order to pass the House of Delegates.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s 10-5 vote confirmed the more moderate upper chamber had little appetite to impose new regulations on the type of weaponry Virginians can legally buy.

After the vote, gun-rights advocates who had packed the room broke into cheers, and some gun-control supporters vented about Democrats lacking the courage to see the bill through.

Democrats won majorities in both General Assembly chambers last year after making gun control a marquee campaign issue. But the party never seemed to find consensus on how to define and regulate assault weapons. A bill to impose a sweeping ban on possession of assault weapons was pulled from consideration by Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and the bill being considered Monday had undergone significant revisions to get as far as it did.

The split opinions were evident at Monday’s committee hearing as five Democrats tried to keep the bill alive and four Democrats voted to stop it, at least for a while.

Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) suggested postponing consideration of the bill for a year and having the Virginia State Crime Commission study its definitions of what qualifies as an assault weapon. Sen. Deeds was joined by three other Democrats — Sens. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) and John Edwards (D-Roanoke) — in voting for the motion to continue the bill to 2021.

“We passed a lot of gun bills this year,” Sen. Deeds said. “There are obviously a lot of questions about definitions in this bill. And definitions do matter.”

The bill would have defined assault weapons as any semi-automatic rifle or pistol with a fixed magazine capacity of more than 12 rounds or a semi-automatic weapon capable of accepting a detachable magazine that has one or more additional military-style characteristics, such as a folding or telescoping stock, a second grip, a grenade or flare launcher or a silencer. The bill would have applied to shotguns with revolving cylinders or a fixed magazine capacity of more than seven rounds.

Gun proponents had called the definitions overbroad, saying they would affect popular firearms owned by countless Virginians.

Sen. Edwards, the committee chairman, said there “a whole series of issues” with the bill that needed to be addressed.

“We didn’t think there was time to do it. We thought we needed a good year to sort through all the issues,” Sen. Edwards said, adding that he was particularly concerned about defining what an assault weapon is and figuring out what to do if someone doesn’t comply with the proposed law.

Other Democrats were frustrated at seeing the effort get shut down for the year.

“I didn’t have enough people who had enough backbone to do what two million voters asked us to do,” said Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). “They sent us here to vote for good, common sense gun measures. And they wimped out and were just too afraid to do it.”

Sen. Lucas said she felt some of her colleagues were intimidated by the “loud group of people sitting out there.”

“They should’ve just followed me. They can stand behind me,” she said. “Do I look like I’m scared?”

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) issued a statement criticizing the Senate panel’s decision.

“The Democratic platform last fall was very clear. Limiting access to weapons of war used in mass murder was a key part of that platform,” Del. Filler-Corn said. “The House of Delegates delivered on our promise to take action to keep those weapons off our streets. To call today’s vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee a disappointment would be an understatement.”

A handful of Democrats also opposed the bill when it passed the House last week on a 51-48 vote.

The bill also had the support of Gov. Ralph Northam (D). At Monday’s hearing, Brian Moran, Northam’s secretary of public safety and homeland security, said the legislation had been “mischaracterized.”

“It does not amount to a gun grab,” Mr. Moran said. “It is not registration. It is not unconstitutional. It does not make our fellow Virginians felons overnight.”

In a statement, Gov. Northam’s office said he was disappointed with the vote but expects a “detailed review” before the 2021 session.

Several gun control proponents, including multiple parents of victims of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, said the bill would save lives.

“What else can we say to you?” said Lori Haas, the Virginia director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence whose daughter was wounded in the Virginia Tech shooting. “People are dying, and you care more about a piece of hardware.”

The legislation also would have imposed new restrictions on silencers and banned bump stocks, devices meant to allow semi-automatic firearms to fire at a faster rate, mimicking automatic gunfire.

Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria), the bill’s patron, said the weapons he had in mind are “a real danger” and unnecessary for hunting or home defense.

“If you’re using these guns for self-defense in your home, I guess you’ll only be in trouble if 13 people come to burglarize your home in the middle of the night,” Del. Levine sad.

As drafted, the bill would have required Virginians who already own assault weapons to register them with the state for a $50 fee. That provision was later removed, allowing those who already own assault weapons to keep them without taking any additional action. But pro-gun advocates said the end result was still unworkable.

D.J. Spiker, Virginia director for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said that because the bill would have made it a felony to “import” an assault weapon, someone taking their gun on an out-of-state hunting trip would potentially violate the law by bringing it home.

“It has unfortunately turned into a Frankenstein,” Mr. Spiker said of the bill.

Though blocking the assault weapon bill was a top priority for pro-gun groups, other high-profile gun bills are well on their way to Gov. Northam’s desk. Both chambers have passed bills to require background checks on all gun sales, create risk protection orders that would allow authorities to temporarily seize guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others and give cities, counties and towns more power to impose local gun restrictions.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League, said his group will continue to fight all of the legislation.

“This is a great victory on one bill,” he said. “It’s one battle in a war.”

Teen double-murder defendant Virginia-bound

Posted Monday,
February 17, 2020
1 ·
Charged with two counts of murder, Levi Norwood will be back in Virginia “in a few days,” sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman says.
The teenage double-murder defendant from Midland waived extradition Monday in a Durham, N.C., clearing the way for his return to Virginia

“(Levi) Norwood will be transported back to Fauquier County in a few days,” sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said late Monday afternoon. “He will be held in a regional juvenile detention center, pending future court hearings in Fauquier County.”

Charged with two counts of murder in the Friday night shootings of his mother and young brother, 17-year-old Levi Norwood’s case will begin in Fauquier Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook said Sunday that his office will decide whether to seek to have the defendant tried as an adult.

Levi Norwood remained on the run for 22 hours after the murders at his family’s home on Elk Run Road between Morrisville and Midland around 6 p.m. Friday.

Responding to a shoplifting case in a Super Target store at 4 p.m. Saturday, Durham police recognized the suspect, in part because of his hair dyed purple, according to the Fauquier sheriff’s office.

Levi Norwood had no weapon when arrested in the store’s sports department, while trying to steal hair dye, clothes and a backpack, authorities said.

Durham police also seized the red 2007 Toyota Camry that the defendant allegedly stole 10 miles from his home Friday night or Saturday morning.

Fauquier detectives will get a search warrant to recover evidence from the car, which remained sealed Sunday. Sheriff Bob Moser acknowledged the car could contain the handgun Levi Norwood allegedly used to kill two family members and to wound his father.

Jennifer Norwood, 34, and Wyatt Norwood, 6, died of gunshot wounds in the family home.

Joshua Norwood, 37, suffered an upper body wound and received treatment at a local hospital.

The extradition process in a North Carolina court could have delayed the defendant’s inevitable return to Virginia a few days, according to Mr. Hook.

132-acre Ashland Farm fetches $3.6 million

Posted Monday,
February 17, 2020
0 ·
Ashland Farm, west of Warrenton, sold for $3.6 million.
Ashland, an 18th-century stone manor house on 130 acres west of Warrenton, sold last week for $3.6 million.

Totally renovated several years ago, the 8,477-square-foot home has eight bedrooms, 6-1/2 baths, two kitchens and “numerous” fireplaces.

The property along Route 211 and Holtzclaw Road includes a tennis court, “sports barn,” heated pool, three-bedroom guest house, stables with 25 stalls, an indoor riding ring and a caretaker’s cottage.

Ashland went on the market in June 2018 with an asking price of $5.5 million, according to By last month, the price had dropped to $4.2 million.

Michael Rankin of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty represented the seller. Loic Pritchett of the same brokerage represented the buyer.

The Marshall District sale tops the most recent list of Fauquier transactions.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Feb. 6-12, 2020:

Cedar Run District

Amanda B. Barto to Dimas S. and Xiomara Y. Velasquez, 3.18 acres, 1402 Aquia Road, near Midland, $335,000.

John F. Trumbo Jr. estate, by Fauquier Bank as executor, to Katherine and David F. Snead Jr. and Mark A. and Kimberly M. Jenkins, 15.11 acres, Old Carolina Road, near Midland, $175,000.

Greg and Penny L. Kirschbaum to Kelly J. and Norman M. Lawhorn, 5 acres, 12320 Tacketts Mill Road, near Somerville, $425,000.

Carole J. Retzlaff to Robert M. Robinson Jr. and Cynthia R. Steady, 2 acres, Lot 1, Franklin Estates Subdivision, 3551 Goldmine Road, Goldvein, $305,000.

Aran Capital Partners LLC, Mark Kelly as managing member, to Mary L. O’Brien and Mathew J. Payne, 2 acres, Lot 3, Cox Division, 8069 Greenwich Road, near Catlett, $490,000.

Shawn A. Boyce to Michael S. Ciallella, 2 acres, 1385 Aquia Road, near Midland, $290,000.

Ashton A. Jenkins, Jessie N. Jenkins, Mark D. Huffman and Jessie Jenkins to Marc A. and Michelle Armstrong, 12.5 acres, 9360 Redemption Way, near Midland, $635,000.

Center District

Jacob A. and Ashli Musyt to Richard and Margaret Koehnke, 0.48 acre, Lot 6, Section 1, Phase 1-B, Menlough Subdivision, 80 Menlough Drive, Warrenton.

Paper Street Soap Co. LLC, Thomas J. Ross II and Tyler J. Ross as managing members, to CLL Investments LLC, Condo Unit 113, Building 631, Phase 1, Warrenton Gardens, 631 Waterloo Road, Warrenton, $121,500.

Eva U. Richardson to Megan A. and Blayne C. Laures, Lot 90, Block 4, Foxhills Subdivision, 158 Piedmont St., Warrenton, $425,000.

Ronald L. and Rene S. Stevens to Ryan M. and Emily A. Jones, Lot 15-R2, Chancellor’s Gate Subdivision, 183 Mosby Circle, Warrenton, $385,000.

Dora A. and Juan J. Velez Jr. to Richard A. Schraf, Lot 21, Whites Mill Subdivision, 6428 Whites Mill Lane, near Warrenton, $540,000.

Jean M. Lukas to Rene H. Debellaistre and Kathryn Woolman, Lot 35, Bear Wallow Knolls Subdivision, 443 Ridge Court, Warrenton, $263,000.

Chris D. and Sandra L. Myers to James M. Davison, Lot 36, Section 2, Copper Mill Subdivision, 805 Colonel Edmonds Court, Warrenton, $349,900.

Dionicio and Rosa E. Rodriguez to Miguel A. Cadiz, 0.3 acre, Lot 6, Kimberley Subdivision, 129 Brenda Court, Warrenton, $250,000.

Lee District

Felix and Nereida Beltran to Felix Beltran Jr., Unit K, Building 3, Cedar Lee Condominiums, 11228 Torrie Way, Bealeton, $134,000.

Michelle L. Hill, Anita S. Hill and Robert C. Hill to Walter D. Hernandez and Barrientos and Maria S. Hernandez, Lot 11, Phase 2, Rappahannock Landing Subdivision, 5028 Godwins Landing Drive, Remington, $310,000.

FFC Properties LLC, Brian Fowler as member, to Caleb T. and Julie A. Epperson, Lot 178, Phase 3, 10988 Southcoate Village Subdivision, 10988 Southcoate Village Drive, Bealeton, $417,000.

James P. and Megan R. Holm to Benjamin S. and Jennifer R. Hedrick, 1.2 acres, Lot A, Goulding Subdivision, 10683 Marsh Road, near Bealeton.

Mintbrook Developers LLC, Russell Marks as manager, to NVR Inc., Lots 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, Neighborhood B, Phase 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, Bealeton, $330,000.

Marshall District

Ashland Fields LLC to Ashland Meade LLC, 81.6 acres and 50.8 acres, 8714 Holtzclaw Road, near Warrenton, $3,600,00.

C. Faye Richardson to Christopher E. and Ildiko N. Foreman, 10.1 acres, Lot 20, Bears Den Subdivision, 7840 Cub Drive, near Orlean, $430,000.

Bradley N. and Lori Orme to Anna L. and Joshua L. Stevens, 10 acres, Lot 5, View Tree Subdivision, 7633 Bear Wallow Drive, near Warrenton, $550,000.

Courtney M. Martin to Emily A. Thomas, Lot 6 and part of Lot 5, Renalds Subdivision, 4178 Winchester Road, Marshall, $295,000.

Scott District

Jeffrey R. and Jennifer H. Abrams to Daniel J. and Jessica L. Wendling, Lot 14, Phase 2, Misty Run Estates Subdivision, 7148 Norwich Court, near Warrenton, $596,500.

Jonathan O. Santee to Gregory J. and Tiffany L. Dreher, 2.29 acres, Lot 1, Ellis Estates Subdivision, 4573 Maple Dale Lane, near The Plains, $505,000.

Chad and Stephanie Vieau to David R. Borek Jr., Lot 38, Phase 11-A, Brookside Subdivision, 3983 Lake Ashby Court, near Warrenton, $575,000.

Raymond L. and Shirley G. Brown to Zachary Stalls and Angela Summer, 1.35 acres, Lot 10, Governors Ridge Subdivision, 5763 Pendleton Lane, near Warrenton, $470,000.

Joseph E. Doyle III to Theresa C. Divov, 6.7 acres, Lot 6, Westervelt Subdivision, 4376 Montreux Road, near Warrenton, $850,000.

Excellent response to case that devastates community

Posted Monday,
February 17, 2020
3 ·

Teen murder suspect taken holding hair dye in Target

Posted Sunday,
February 16, 2020
9 ·
Photos/Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office and Google Earth
Durham, N.C., police arrested double-murder suspect Levi Norwood, 17, in this Super Target at 4037 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. just after 4 p.m. Saturday, about 22 hours after he allegedly killed his mother and little brother in Southern Fauquier.
It’s a devastating experience for the family and for anyone who knows them, but it’s a small community. This has widespread effects. How do you explain it?
— Sheriff Bob Mosier
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The teenage murder suspect from Midland attempted to shoplift hair dye, clothes and a backpack when detained at 3:59 p.m. Saturday in a Super Target store in Durham, N.C., authorities said Sunday.

Levi Norwood, 17, had remained on the run for 22 hours, since he allegedly fatally shot his mother and 6-year-old brother and wounded his father in their home at 12870 Elk Run Road in Southern Fauquier.

A Target “loss prevention specialist” detained Levi Norwood and called Durham police, who responded to what at first seemed a routine “teen shoplifting case,” Fauquier Sheriff Bob Mosier said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

Only after Durham police checked a bulletin that described the alleged killer — with purple hair — did they identify the suspect, who initially provided a false identity, Sheriff Mosier said.

It could take days to extradite Levi Norwood to Fauquier, Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook said during the press conference. The suspect will go before a judge Tuesday, probably for appointment of a lawyer, before the North Carolina court will consider hearing the petition for his return to Virginia — possibly later this week, Mr. Hook explained.

The suspect’s capture Saturday in the store southwest of downtown Durham ended an intense manhunt that involved hundreds of law enforcement officers, helicopters, drones and tracking dogs.

His father, 37-year-old Joshua Norwood came home just before 6 p.m. Friday to find his wife and young son shot to death in their rented brick rambler in the rural area east of Morrisville and south of Midland, according to the sheriff’s office.

Then, Levi Norwood appeared and shot his father with a handgun, Sheriff Mosier said.

Mr. Norwood left through the front door and called 911 at 5:59 p.m.

The bodies of Jennifer Norwood, 34, and Wyatt Norwood, 6, remained in the house.

The first deputy reached the scene 16 minutes later and dozens more quickly arrived to set up a perimeter around the house, which has two other exterior doors.

Deputies assumed Levi Norwood remained inside with the gun.

But, at 10:15 p.m. when officers “forced entry,” they failed to find the suspect, who had fled and eventually covered about 10 miles through dense woods and along rural roadways until he stole a red 2007 Toyota Camry on Rogues Road close to C.M. Crockett Park near Midland, according to authorities.

At 7:30 Saturday morning, its owner reported the Camry missing.

Ultimately, tracking dogs followed the suspect’s entire trail from the family home to the area of the stolen car, Sheriff Mosier said.

Meanwhile, the horrific case attracted national news coverage as the manhunt continued through Saturday.

When arrested, Levi Norwood did not have a gun in his possession, Sheriff Mosier said.

But, police found the stolen Camry in the Target parking lot. Durham police sealed the vehicle in preparation for its return to Warrenton, where sheriff’s detectives will get a search warrant before opening it and collecting evidence, the sheriff said.

The murder weapon could be in the car, Sheriff Moser acknowledged.

In response to questions, the sheriff said investigators have no evidence that the suspect received any assistance in the shootings or in his escape. Investigators do not know how long it took him to cover the 10 miles from his family’s home to Rogues Road where he stole the car, Sheriff Moser added.

Nor do they know the route he travelled from Midland to Durham, a distance of at least 245 miles.

Sheriff Mosier said the suspect shot all three family members “in the upper body.”

Joshua Norwood received treatment at a local hospital and spent the night in a hotel, according to authorities. Family members have traveled from Maine to stay with him, Sgt. James Hartman said.

The state medical examiner will perform autopsies on the bodies of Mrs. Norwood and Wyatt.

Mr. Hook declined to say whether he would seek to have the suspect tried as an adult. The case will start in Fauquier County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court after Levi Norwood’s return to Virginia.

The defendant faces two counts of murder, with other charges likely, Mr. Hook said.

The Fauquier school board and administrators met Sunday morning to review the crisis intervention plan for helping students and staff members when classes resume Tuesday after the Presidents’ Day holiday.

Counselors and psychiatrists will be available throughout the system, but especially at Mary Walter Elementary, where Wyatt attended the first grade, and at Liberty High School in Bealeton, where Levi Norwood was a junior.

How do counselors and teachers explain what happened to first-graders?

“It’s more about listening and gauging what they’re concerned about,” said Frank Finn, assistant school superintendent for student services. “Some will think, ‘Could something happen to me’?”

School officials will send information — including recommendations from the National Association of School Psychiatrists — to parents to help them deal with the issues, Mr. Finn added.

“I don’t remember having anything remotely like this,” said Mr. Finn, a 12-year veteran of the school system, noting that student deaths in the past have activated plans for emergency counseling.

His office also has counseling services available to deputies who might struggle with what they saw Friday night in the Norwood home, Sheriff Mosier said.

The sheriff called it “a devastating experience for the family and for anyone who knows them, but it’s a small community. This has widespread effects. How do you explain it?”

Law enforcement and school officials refused to talk about whether Levi Norwood had presented any discipline problems or threat at Liberty High.

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

Summer medical camp applications due Feb. 21

Posted Sunday,
February 16, 2020
0 ·

Easy and sophisticated, Shrimp Puttanesca over Penne

Posted Friday,
February 14, 2020
0 ·
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Sometimes I think I live under a rock. I’m such a fan of Italian dishes, more so than any other, I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of this recipe earlier in life?

Anne Hall was visiting the Northern Neck and during her stay at the Tides Inn she ordered Tuna Puttanesca. She absolutely raved about it. Not wanting to let on that I wasn’t familiar with the dish, I googled it as soon as I had the chance.

The origin of this recipe is interesting. It came about in Naples in the mid-twentieth century. “Ladies of the night” are said to have created it. It’s a fairly quick dish to prepare, so quick, the “ladies” could make it between clients.

The name is derived from the Italian word puttane which means whores. But puttanesca translates to anchovies, olives and capers. So loosely translated Puttanesca could be “in the style whores.”

No matter how it came about, it is delicious and so versatile. The sauce’s basic ingredients are tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, capers and olives. Red pepper flakes add an extra kick.

While I chose shrimp for this recipe, one can use any type of protein. Instead of shrimp, any fish, crustacean or chicken could be used. More typically spaghetti or linguini are used and the sauce and pasta are stirred together before serving.

So, if you’re in a quandary over what to serve for dinner, this could be the perfect entrée.

Shrimp Puttanesca over Penne

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine (Vermouth)
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
2 tablespoons capers
1 lb. pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 anchovies, finely chopped
12 ounces gluten-free penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in 12-inch frying pan over medium heat and cook the onions until translucent. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook another minute. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated. Add the tomatoes, olives, and capers and bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.

While sauce simmers bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Pour into strainer and rinse quickly with cold water.

In the last five minutes of cooking the pasta, add the shrimp and anchovies to the sauce. Raise the heat to medium heat and cook until the shrimp are cooked (pink), 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve sauce over pasta and sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: County meeting room seats

Posted Friday,
February 14, 2020
0 ·
Clockwise from top left: School bus stop arm, Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel and the 51-seat Warren Green meeting room.

Audience seats in the main meeting room of the county-owned Warren Green Building in Warrenton.

Fauquier’s board of supervisors, planning commission and board of zoning appeals, along with other groups, conduct their meetings there — originally the Warren Green Hotel dining room.

Frequently the audience overflows into the hallway and into two other rooms, which have audio/video feeds from the main meeting space.


Delinquent taxes owed the Town of Warrenton as of Feb. 6, when the council’s Finance Committee discussed collection options.

The back taxes by category:

$176,508 — business licenses.

$121,327 — vehicle license fees.

$82,616 — personal property.

$29,399 — meals tax .

$39,052 — real estate.


The number of times drivers illegally passed Fauquier school buses with stop arms extended from the start of classes Aug. 14 through Jan. 31.

Some county school buses have cameras that record the violations, resulting in fines. But, other violators get away without tickets.

“Please, when you are out driving and you see a school bus with its stop arm out, that means you need to stop,” school board member Donna Grove (Cedar Run District) said at Monday night’s meeting. “Every time you run one of those, you are endangering a child’s life. I don’t care how late you are or how important your meeting is, you’ve got to stop when you see that stop arm out.

The violation carries a $250 fine.


The daily salary total to operate Fauquier’s landfill at Corral Farm near Warrenton and its convenience sites at Catlett, Markham, Marshall, Morrisville and New Baltimore as well as the Remington recycling site, according to the Environmental Services Department.

Operating the landfill and convenience sites require 111 “manhours” per day.


Women elected to county, local and state panels or offices. They include:

• Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall District), Fauquier County Board of Supervisors.

• Donna Grove (Cedar Run), Stephanie Litter-Reber (Lee), Susan Pauling (Center) and Suzanne Sloane (Scott District), Fauquier County School Board.

• Joyce Heflin, Lori Sisson and Heidi Van Voorhis, The Plains Town Council.

• Susan Tiffany, Remington Town Council.

• Gail Barb, Fauquier County Circuit Court Clerk.

• Tanya Remson Wilcox, Fauquier County Treasurer.

• Deirdre Clark, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation Board.

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

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

Warrenton has no female town councilmembers.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
February 14, 2020
0 ·

Supervisors agree: Expand Taylor Middle School

Posted Thursday,
February 13, 2020
1 ·
File Photo
Taylor opened during segregation in 1952 as Fauquier’s high school for black students. Its alumni have advocated for its renovation and continued use as the county seat’s middle school. The supervisors Thursday agreed with the school board to follow that plan.
One of the questions that’s been hanging out there is which central school to renovate. I think it should be Taylor Middle School.
— Supervisor Chris Granger
Fauquier’s Middle Schools
> Auburn
• Built: 2004
• Students: 570
• Capacity: 657
• Campus: 34.5 acres

> Cedar Lee
• Built: 1973
• Students: 654
• Capacity: 789
• Campus: 33.3 acres

> Marshall
• Built: 1974
• Students: 468
• Capacity: 656
• Campus: 34.8 acres

> Taylor
• Built: 1951
• Students: 470
• Capacity: 547
• Campus: 39.1 acres, shared with Brumfield Elementary

> Warrenton
• Built: 1934
• Students: 434
• Capacity: 545
• Campus: 14.8 acres, shared with county garage and maintenance facilities
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The apparent “Kumbaya” moment in the long-running debate about Fauquier middle school renovations finally came just after 3:30 Thursday afternoon.

Following the lead of Chris Granger (Center District) and Chris Butler (Lee), the five-member board of supervisors agreed in principal to a plan, estimated to cost $58.7 million, that would:

• Expand Cedar Lee Middle in Bealeton for 300 more students, bringing its capacity to 1,089.

• Renovate and expand the Taylor Middle in Warrenton to accommodate 650 to 800 students. Taylor today has a capacity of 547.

The school board and supervisors still need to formally adopt the plan.

But, the agreement apparently ends several years of sometimes angry debate between the two elected boards.

Both boards last year agreed to expand Cedar Lee and to renovate one of the two Warrenton schools. That plan used $40 million as an estimated “placeholder” cost.

But, the school board early this year wanted to amend that agreement, with a $10-million addition to Auburn Middle School as well.

“One of the questions that’s been hanging out there is which central school to renovate,” Mr. Granger said to start Thursday’s work session on the topic. “I think it should be Taylor Middle School.

“Warrenton (Middle) always came up as the easy option (for renovation), because it was a little bit less expensive.”

He also had previously expressed preference for renovating Warrenton because of its architecture and “walkability.”

But, Mr. Granger said the history of Taylor — built in the early 1950s as Fauquier’s high school for black students — justifies the extra cost to continue its use for instruction.

“I’ve searched high and low in the commonwealth and haven’t found a similar example” of a formerly segregated school for African-Americans undergoing major renovation for continued use, he said.

The decision means Warrenton Middle School on Waterloo Street probably will get repurposed for offices, Head Start and possibly the alternative school, housed in an older building near Midland.

School board Chairman “Duke” Bland (Marshall) on Thursday agreed with the supervisors. Two other school board members, Susan Pauling (Center) and Stephanie Litter-Reber (Lee), met Wednesday night with Mr. Butler and Mr. Granger and concurred.

Fauquier will go from five middle schools to four.

The school board last week unanimously endorsed Taylor’s renovation, but it also wanted to first expand Auburn.

While open to a potential expansion of Auburn — the county’s newest middle school, which opened in 2004 — the supervisors want the two other projects to take precedence.

Cedar Lee’s expansion, estimated to cost $17.9 million, could begin next summer. Its completion would allow the school system to move a couple hundred students out of Taylor for its renovation. Others would move temporarily to other schools during that project.

The cost for Taylor’s renovation and expansion remains uncertain, but it could run about $40.7 million.

The county would pay 10 percent of the costs with cash and would issue bonds to pay the 90-percent balance over 20 years.

At peak, the debt service would cost an estimated $4.5 million a year. At today’s rate and values, that would represent a 4-1/2-percent real estate tax increase.

But, again, much remains to be determined.

School officials, however, left the meeting relieved.

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

Throwback Thursday: Old Remington school could go

Posted Thursday,
February 13, 2020
0 ·
1995: “It’s a good old school, but it’s served its time,” M.M. Pierce Principal Betty Putnam says.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of February 17, 1995

Bond would replace 1932 part of Remington school

The stark, red brick façade still stands at M.M. Pierce Elementary School.

But, the Remington landmark — built in 1932 as part of the Work Projects Administration program — seems beyond repair.

“It’s a good, old school, but it’s served its time,” Principal Betty Putnam said. “I spend so much time dealing with the building that could be spent working with teachers and students.”

The former John Barton Payne School will be demolished if voters approve a $13-million school bond referendum March 14. In its place, a 52,193-square-foot, one-story structure would rise.

At $5.8 million, the new school would cost the county more than the renovations planned at Coleman Elementary near Marshall and Fauquier High in Warrenton. But, it would add 25 classrooms, a new kitchen, cafeteria and library.

Pierce’s addition, built in 1981, would undergo minor renovation as well. With the old library divided into two classrooms, the wing would contain 10 regular rooms for regular instruction and six smaller rooms for special education, remedial reading and math and gifted and talented education.

D’Urso reluctant front-runner

Ross D’Urso knows that local political gossip mongers consider him the front-runner for the job of interim commissioner of revenue.

And, he knows that many view him as the man to beat next fall, when Fauquier voters will elect a new commissioner.

D’Urso, 40, hears the talk in the hallways of the county courthouse and in meetings of the numerous civic organizations to which he belongs. The talk makes him cringe.

The county’s deputy commissioner of revenue since 1990, D’Urso readily acknowledges his interest in replacing his “mentor,” Alice Jane Childs, when she retires at the end of the month.

“A lot of my friends have encouraged me to run,” D’Urso said. “But until things become official, it’s a different ballgame.”

In other words, he said, he takes nothing for granted until a circuit court judicial panel appoints later this month appoints an interim commissioner to serve through Dec. 31.

Warrenton lawyer Payne tops judgeship candidate list

Warrenton lawyer H. Dudley Payne Jr. received the lion’s share of attention as local judicial candidates faced General Assembly committees Saturday.

Payne, who lives near Orlean, and fellow attorneys John W. Wine of Marshall and Robert H. Kilma of Broad Run are candidates for the 20th District Juvenile and Domestic Court soon to be vacated by retiring Judge A. Burke Hertz.

The three candidates met separately with the Senate and House Courts of Justice committees in interviews that together ran less than an hour.

For Payne, the interviews seemed more a round of congratulations than a grilling. Del. John J. “Butch” Davies (D-Culpeper), a member of the committee, spoke of “literally a file full of letters” he has received supporting Payne.

Del. Jay Katzen (R-Markham) said he has emailed his GOP colleagues, urging them to support Payne, who has actively participated in the Democratic Party.

The legislature will fill the judgeship before it adjourns Feb. 25.

Earlier school opening possible

Fauquier’s school board voted, 4-1, Monday to seek permission from the Virginia Department of Education to start classes before Labor Day.

“Until all schools are air-conditioned, I don’t think schools should be open” before the September holiday, said Mary Charles Ashby (Scott District), who voted against the application.

The state board last year changed the policy, allowing any school system that missed five days of classes or more because of weather to request an earlier start.

Weather closed Fauquier schools an average of 9.8 days annually from 1986 through last year. The county system closed 20 times because of weather in 1993-94.

Ennis prepares for board run

After two months of “testing the waters,” Midland resident Dell Ennis appears ready to challenge two-term incumbent Wilbur Burton for the Cedar Run District seat on the board of supervisors.

Ennis, 36, has begun a petition drive to get his name on the ballot for the June 13 Democratic primary and may announce his candidacy by the end of the month.

“I can say confidently that the reason for this campaign is to move Fauquier County to an economic success with revenue-inducing decisions and to get our heads out of the sand and into the air,” Ennis said in an interview Monday.

The self-employed builder and developer said he “instigated” a meeting of Cedar Run Democrats last week, when party members decided to hold an open primary to choose the nominee.

2 more Big Mac outlets planned here

The McDonald’s Corp. plans to open two “limited edition” restaurants in Warrenton to make fast food even more convenient.

By early summer, the company expects to open storefront operations in Warrenton Center on Lee Highway and Warrenton Towne Centre on Route 211.

McDonald’s would lease about 1,000 square feet in each shopping center, where the eateries would have limited menus.

Fauquier already has three McDonald’s — one on Broadview Avenue, another at the Opal Truck Stop and a third at Bealeton.

“Lion in Winter” to open at The Loft

The Fauquier Community Theatre production of “Lion in Winter” will open Friday night at The Loft in Warrenton.

Award-winning Director Diane Hughes will oversee the production.

Her husband, Michael Hughes stars as Henry II, king of England.

Diana Morgan costars as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, a proud woman struggling to retain the power and love she once took for granted.

Married for 31 years, the couple grapple with the stresses that arise from the competition among their three grown sons, all of whom hope to inherit the throne.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
February 13, 2020
0 ·

“Sanctuary” would extend Fauquier agritourism sector

Posted Thursday,
February 13, 2020
15 ·

Amended assault firearm bill squeaks out of House

Posted Wednesday,
February 12, 2020
9 ·
Photo/Erin Edgerton
A customer handles a scoped assault rifle at a gun show last March in Richmond. Sunday, March 25 gun show. A majority of vendors, including the one pictured, owned retail stores around Virginia and traveled to the Richmond show with a smaller selection to sell. (Photo by Erin Edgerton)
There have been a lot of scare tactics being used. No one is going to send the police to kick down your door to take away your firearms.
— Del. Mark H. Levine (D-Alexandria)
2020 General Assembly
• Convened: Wednesday, Jan. 8

• Adjourns: Saturday, March 7

• Website:

Fauquier’s legislators

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

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

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

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

RICHMOND — A controversial bill banning assault firearms passed the House this week along party lines, and after several amendments whittled away at certain requirements that had caused the loudest opposition.

The House of Delegates voted, 51-48, to pass HB 961, which bans the sale of assault firearms and other firearm accessories. Sponsored by Del. Mark H. Levine (D-Alexandria), HB 961 is one of the many gun control efforts being introduced this session and backed by Gov. Ralph Northam.

The bill has been amended several times, and because of this Del. Levine believes that lawmakers have reached the best compromise. The delegate also said he wants to counter misinformation being used by pro-gun groups.

“There have been a lot of scare tactics being used,” Del. Levine said. “No one is going to send the police to kick down your door to take away your firearms.”

Amendments to the bill include striking the requirement that current owners of firearms categorized as assault weapons register them with the state police. Also removed was a section that banned suppressors, also known as “silencers.” Originally the bill required that the suppressors be destroyed, moved out of state or surrendered to law enforcement by January 2021. Now the bill only restricts future sales of assault firearms and suppressors.

The bill in its current form would ban the sale and transfer of new assault rifles, as well as restrict the size of a magazine’s capacity to 12 rounds. An earlier version of the bill would have made possessing any large-capacity firearm magazine a Class 6 felony violation, but that penalty was amended and reduced to a Class 1 misdemeanor.

“I have been talking to and listening to the concerns from law abiding citizens,” Del. Levine said. “I have also worked with my colleagues across the aisle; Sen. Amanda Chase was instrumental in helping with these amendments.”

Former Arizona congresswoman and gun control advocate Gabrielle Giffords on Monday urged Virginia lawmakers to “act with courage,” in a statement released the day before the vote.

Statewide opposition has swelled in response to proposed gun control legislation that the Democrats promised after gaining control of the General Assembly and the governor’s mansion for the first time since 1993.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, is a leading voice against the gun control bills that have been introduced.

“We will be working to kill the bills that crossed over,” Mr. Van Cleave said. “Expect VCDL to have a presence in all the subcommittee and committee rooms on gun bills; we will fight hard to stop it in the Senate.”

Mr. Van Cleave and the VCDL held a massive pro-Second Amendment rally on Jan. 20, that drew more than 22,000 people to Capitol Square and the surrounding areas. Gov. Northam declared a state of emergency before the event, citing concerns over safety and threats of violence.

Mr. Van Cleave said his group hasn’t planned another rally but that is something that could change on short notice.

“We are watching the gun bills,” he said. “What happens with those bills will have bearing on our next move.”

With Del. Levine’s bill inching closer to becoming law, many gun store owners statewide have reported an uptick in sales from state residents buying anything that would be banned under the bill.

Eric Tompkins, owner of Paladin Strategic in Mechanicsville, said that the legislative gun control push has helped sales at his gun store, but predicted that his business probably won’t last if HB 961 were signed into law.

“It’s been a double-edged sword, because the past few months since the election have been great,” Mr. Tompkins said. “I have had a ton of customers each day, but I know that’ll drop off, and I don’t know whether my business will continue.”

The bill now heads to the Senate. Firearm bills passed earlier by the Senate include SB 70, which requires a universal background check when people sell firearms. SB 69 limits handgun purchases to one a month, while SB 35 allows localities to ban firearms in a public space during a permitted event. SB 240 allows authorities to take away the firearms of someone deemed to be a threat to themselves or others, a measure known as a red flag law. SB 543 makes background checks mandatory at gun shows.

Heather Sutphin campaigns for Warrenton council

Posted Wednesday,
February 12, 2020
0 ·
Heather Sutphin
She always puts the community first . . . a great people person.
— Jennifer Puffenbarger
Heather Grimsley Sutphin
• Age: 51

• Home: White Oak Court

• Office sought: Ward 1 seat, Warrenton Town Council, May 5 election.

• Work: Marketing and events director, Peak Roofing Contractors Inc., Warrenton, December 2019-present.

• Experience: Advertising sales, The Fauquier Times and The Fauquier Citizen; Realtor (still licensed); former Fauquier sheriff’s deputy.

• Education: Fauquier High School, 1987; Loudoun County Criminal Justice Academy, 1998.

• Organizations: Treasurer/board member, Fauquier Historical Society; citizen member, Warrenton Town Council Transportation Safety Committee; Habitat for Humanity Women Build; Fauquier Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee.

• Hobbies: Antiques, painting furniture and walking.

• Family: Husband, Wendell Sutphin.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The marketing professional and active community volunteer will campaign for the Ward 1 seat in the Warrenton Town Council election May 5.

“I’ve always been very passionate about my community,” Heather Grimsley Sutphin said in an interview Friday. “My slogan is, ‘Living our history, building our future’.”

Ms. Sutphin, 51, hopes to succeed Jerry Wood, who will not run again after six years on the council. Mr. Wood won appointment to the vacant seat in 2014 and re-election two years later.

She identified transportation as a major challenge facing the town.

“I remember when the Eastern Bypass wasn’t there and Route 17 had only two lanes coming into town” from the north, Ms. Sutphin said. “I see where traffic is an issue, and everybody’s aware of that. The walkability of the town is also important.

“I really want to be a part of figuring out the best solutions.”

> Planning commission member Ali Zarabi running for Ward 1 seat

Ms. Sutphin last year got appointed as a citizen member of the town council’s Transportation Safety Committee and has participated in discussions of different options for moving around Warrenton.

She also wants to help ensure the town’s businesses prosper and says her experience in local advertising sales could assist in that effort.

“I understand how merchants on Broadview (Avenue) and in Old Town worry about their futures,” Ms. Sutphin said. “I’m very good friends with Mr. (James) Rankin and his family.

“I plan to go to everyone and talk with them to come up with some ideas that might help.”

She agrees with the concept of “Urban Development Areas” in Warrenton’s draft comprehensive plan that would encourage denser, mixed-use construction in selected places.

“I like the idea of making it a little more attractive to younger families,” Ms. Sutphin said. “I think condos are a good idea. Developed the right way, it could be really classy. But, it doesn’t need to be so concentrated that we’re falling over each other . . . . Growth is inevitable.”

She laments the loss of the bowling alley and the lack of a movie theater and hopes new development will provide more entertainment options in Warrenton for people of all ages.

Ms. Sutphin admitted she lacks enough information to comment on a major issue the next town council could face: Boundary adjustments or annexation. The town continues to study whether to seek incorporation of the commercial strip that includes four vehicle dealerships and the Outback Steakhouse just north of town. The study also includes mostly vacant land between the Eastern Bypass and Meetze Road.

“My first instinct is I’m not opposed to it, but I really would have to look at the pros and cons” of expanding the town, she said.

But, she said: “I’ve been really happy with the town council, the way everybody seems to be working together and the effort for Warrenton to rebrand itself.”

Why did she decide to run for office?

“I’m very active in my community; I volunteer a lot,” Ms. Sutphin said. “I’ve been talking about the possibility for three years or so. Then, my husband Wendell had a lung transplant (in October 2018). I wanted to make sure he had recovered and that he’s OK with it.

“He’s doing very, very well. And, he was a little apprehensive (about her candidacy), but he was the first person who signed my petition” to get on the ballot.

In recent years, she has volunteered for the campaigns of Town Councilman Sean Polster (At-large), Sheriff Bob Mosier, Commissioner of Revenue Eric Maybach and Del. Michael Webert.

“That has taught me a lot,” Ms. Sutphin said. “I plan to work the neighborhoods, talk to people one-on-one and find out what’s important to them.”

She also admitted a bit of concern about jumping fully into the public domain.

“So many people tend to get on Facebook and be negative. If you really want to help, be part of the solution. I know people are going to say negative things and second-guess me” if on the council, Ms. Sutphin said. “I look at the poor people on the school board; somebody’s always unhappy.

“I would be honest and work to get things done. I would just do my best.”

Her neighbor Jennifer Puffenbarger thinks Ms. Sutphin would do well as a member of the town council.

“She’s very involved,” Ms. Puffenbarger said. “She always puts the community first . . . a great people person.”

All five council ward seats will be on the May ballot. Warrenton voters will elect the two at-large council members and the mayor in 2022.

This year’s candidates must file documents by March 3 to appear on the ballot. Those elected will take office July 1.

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

Owner of raided kennel faces 4 more felonies

Posted Wednesday,
February 12, 2020
1 ·
Irina S. Barrett, 41, faces five animal cruelty charges.
A Fauquier sheriff’s animal control deputy on Wednesday filed four more criminal charges against the owner Broad Run dog breeding kennel raided Jan. 28.

Authorities last month seized more than 70 dogs from Irina Barrett’s property at 6205 Beverly’s Mill Road and charged her with one count of animal cruelty.

The new felony charges — also for animal cruelty — resulted from “the medical condition of four particular dogs,” Sgt. James Hartman said Wednesday. “When seized, the dogs are alleged to have been in dire need of veterinary care. It is further alleged this lack of care has caused severe and undue suffering.”

Sgt. Hartman added: “Deputies took Barrett into custody at her Broad Run residence. She is being held on a $4,000 secured bond at the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center.”

Ms. Barrett will return to Fauquier County General District Court on March 25 to face the charges.

The county also has petitioned the court to grant it custody of the dogs, mostly Doberman pinchers and French bulldogs. Judge J. Gregory Ashwell will hear that case — a civil matter — on March 10.

Meanwhile, the dogs remain quarantined at the Fauquier SPCA shelter near Casanova.

Ms. Barrett’s defense attorney last week told Judge Ashwell that only seven of the dogs belong to Ms. Barrett and that most of them have other owners.

Her kennel operation made news six years ago in a high-profile zoning case.

After three public hearings in 2013, the Fauquier County Board of Zoning Appeals voted, 5-0, to deny Ms. Barrett’s application to expand her Canis Maximus Kennel beyond 12 dogs. The kennel operated on 4.9 acres at 6205 Beverley’s Mill Road.

Neighbors and humane activists opposed the kennel expansion.

The recent investigation started with the death of a dog, according to authorities.

“In late January, Animal Control deputies were contacted by authorities with Baltimore County Maryland Animal Control regarding a deceased dog reported to be owned by Irina Barrett,” Sgt. Hartman wrote in a press release last month. “This dog was allegedly left unclaimed at a veterinary clinic in Maryland. It was further alleged the dog showed signs of prolonged neglect. 
“The deceased dog was transferred to the Fauquier Health Department Agriculture Laboratory for necropsy. Animal Control deputies sought a search warrant for evidence of long-term cruelty and neglect possibly contributing to death. Preliminary results determined the dog did not receive adequate care and endured extreme suffering.” 

Should Virginia impose a 5-cent tax on disposable plastic shopping bags?

Posted Wednesday,
February 12, 2020
5 ·

Faces of Fauquier: His book traces church’s 200 years

Posted Wednesday,
February 12, 2020
1 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Richard Gookin retired as the associate chief of protocol at the Department of State, which he joined in 1954 while attending Georgetown University at night.
What I tried to do was to bring some people from the past alive again, in a sense.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Beginning in 2015, he pumped out a weekly history essay about Saint James’ Episcopal Church in Warrenton.

Never missing a deadline, Richard Gookin produced 65 consecutive pieces on notable church people and events for the Sunday bulletin.

“As church historian, I anticipated we would be celebrating Saint James’ 200th birthday in 2016,” explained Mr. Gookin. “So I began to write them.”

Little did he know, but the essays proved a hit with church members.

“They seemed to be well-received,” said Mr. Gookin, who heads Saint James’ history committee. “So I was encouraged to put them in book form.”

In November, Outskirts Press published 125 copies of Mr. Gookin’s “Notes on the History of Saint James’ Church.” At $25 each, only two or three copies remained unsold as of this week, he said.

To create the book, he “reworked and expanded” the Sunday bulletin pieces, said Mr. Gookin, 88.

“I put them in a little better order and then added to them,” explained the retired U.S. State Department Associate Chief of Protocol. “It’s not meant to be comprehensive or complete. But at least it gives you a bit of a picture. What I tried to do was to bring some people from the past alive again, in a sense — the personalities. Who were they?”

One chapter includes biographical sketches of the church’s four ministers and 15 rectors. Rev. Paul D. Bowden held the post from 1920 to 1963 — longer than any other Saint James’ rector.

Rev. Ben Mass today serves as rector.

Other sections focus on “personalities,” the music program, school, the church’s role during the Civil War, the 1910 fire that destroyed the sanctuary and the construction of the Gothic-style structure that stands at 73 Culpeper St.

For research, Mr. Gookin relied on his own and other local history books, newspaper articles, church records and interviews.

“The raw material was all there,” he said.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Mr. Gookin took an early shine to most things global.

“When I was a boy, my mother wanted all of us to be exposed to every advantage,” recalled the middle child of three. “I remember in our living room we had a map of the world on the wall and she would ask me, ‘Well, where is Venezuela? Where is England? Where is China?’ That sort of thing.”

“And then I became interested in foreign people and foreign culture, just by nature, I guess.”

Mr. Gookin joined the State Department in 1954. Attending night school at Georgetown University, he earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign service two years later.

Climbing the career ladder at the State Department, Mr. Gookin eventually rose to associate chief of protocol — the office’s senior career position.

He answered to the chief of protocol — a presidential appointee, who changed with just about every new administration.

Among his many duties large and small, Mr. Gookin provided advice on ceremonial matters, diplomatic receptions and visits of heads-of-state, kings and queens visiting Washington as guests of the president.

“I looked upon my job as one to foster good will between the Department of State and U.S. government with foreign, diplomatic missions — foreign embassies in Washington,” he said.

In his nearly 40-year career, Mr. Gookin served under nine presidents — from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bill Clinton.

Of all of them, he liked George H.W. Bush best.

“He was nice to me, and he was always friendly,” said Mr. Gookin, smiling.

He met and/or traveled with numerous world figures, including Queen Elizabeth II.

“She was a lovely person,” Mr. Gookin said of the queen. “But her comments certainly didn’t get into any substance of any kind — small talk and very pleasant.”

He retired from the State Department in 1994, when he and his wife Betty moved to Fauquier.

• Age

• Home 
Near Warrenton

• Work
Associate chief of protocol/other positons, U.S. State Department, 1954-94

• Family
Wife, Betty; three children; four grandchildren; two great grandchildren

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, foreign service, Georgetown University, 1956; Western High School, Washington, D.C., 1949.

• Church involvement
Chairman, history committee, Saint James’ Episcopal Church, Warrenton, 1996 to present.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Twenty-six years.

• Why do you live here? 
My wife’s roots are here, and she was left a beautiful place on Springs Road when her aunt died in 1994. And, I was ready to retire. We lived in Washington and Middleburg. We kept our house in Middleburg for a while and then sold it and have been here for the last 26 years.

• How do you describe this county? 
Fauquier is a paradise. We’re fortunate to be in the Piedmont — in the beautiful topography of rolling hills and the beautiful fields. It’s a peaceful place. There’s a sensible limitation on development.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
For now, I wouldn’t change anything. To my limited point of view, I like it the way it is.

• What do you do for fun? 
My wife and I love where we are. We love to entertain. We have sponsored any number of public programs here. We’ve had receptions for the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the Warrenton Antiquarian Society, the Old Jail Museum.

We’re active at Saint James’ Church. We enjoy our church community — wonderful people who are good friends.

I like to read.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Right here. Our home.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years? 
I’m optimistic that Fauquier County will have small or gradual growth and will be, in many ways, very much the same. There will be citizens who will care as much about Fauquier County as the citizens do today.

• Favorite TV show?
I don’t watch that much TV. But if I watch anything, it’s “Morning Joe” for news. In the evening it would be the Channel 26 NewsHour. For pleasure, it would be “Masterpiece Theatre.”

• Favorite movie? 

• Favorite book?
“The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Life and Death of a Man of Character” by Thomas Hardy

• Favorite vacation spot? 
Cape Cod, Mass.

• Favorite food? 
Calf’s liver and onions.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom? 
I have never really had an advisor. I grew up on my own and found my own way. There was nobody in my family. My parents were dead. My grandparents were lovely people, but they were from a different age.

• Who’s your hero and why?
Dwight D. Eisenhower, for leading the invasion into Normandy, being a great World War II general and then serving eight years as president of the United States.

I admired his character, his love of country, his success, his leadership

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery? 
I’d give $1 million to Saint James’ (Episcopal Church), $1 million to the (Fauquier) SPCA, $1 million towards historic preservation, $1 million to the Friends of Weston.

I suppose I would keep the rest in reserve for whatever comes up.

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
February 12, 2020
0 ·

Pair of seven-figure sales completed near Delaplane

Posted Wednesday,
February 12, 2020
0 ·
This 135-acre parcel along Carr Lane near Delaplane recently sold for $1.37 million.
Two large, open tracts of farmland near Delaplane recently sold for more than $1.3 million apiece.

The 135- and 147-acre parcels comprised part of the sprawling Fleetwood Farm that straddles Route 17 south of Paris. They sold for $1.37 million and $1.49 million, respectively.

The heirs of Leo Bernstein — a Washington, D.C., real estate broker, banker and philanthropist who died in 2008 — still own the 2,490-acre farm, which remains on the market at $21.7 million.

Middleburg Real Estate represented the seller in the recent transactions.

The Marshall District transactions top the most recent list of Fauquier property sales.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2020:

Cedar Run District

Jo Ann Sims to Janet Jerge, 5.63 acres, Lot 2, Phase II, Willow Creek Subdivision, James Madison Highway, near Opal, $125,000.

FFC Properties LLC, Brian A. Fowler as sole member, to Matthew Brumm, Bryan Brumm and Dorcas E. Brumm, 2 acres, 12849 Elk Run Road, Midland, $415,000.

Kenneth W. Walker, Lisa A. Klutts and others to Robert B. Heather, 1.37 acres, Lot 2, Bridges Subdivision, 9353 Meetze Road, near Midland, $190,000.

Jenesis Investments LLC to Herson R. Hernandez and Rosa M. Amaya, 0.56 acre, 3242 Old Catlett Road, Catlett, $270,000.

Janis E. and Mary C. Presnell to Mildred W. Stephens, 15.37 acres, 3432 Thompsons Mill Road, Goldvein, $240,000.

Center District

Amy M. and Bernard A. Beechler, by substitute trustee, to Dixie Living Holding Co. LLC, Condo Unit 26-B, Phase 3, Cedars of Warrenton, 743-B Cedar Crest Drive, Warrenton, $172,500, foreclosure.

Stephan J. and Suzanne C. Heyda to Lucas P. Ragusa and Eleanor A. Miller, Lot 171, Section 2B, Olde Gold Cup Subdivision, 700 Race Course Road, Warrenton, $477,000.

Melinda B. and Gerard P. Melia to Fletcher G. and Sandra E. Brannock, Lot 213, Towns of Oak Springs, 812 Wide Oak Court, Warrenton, $256,500.

Blayne C. and Megan A. Laures to Ruth T. Wood, Lot 2, Moffett Subdivision, 78 Moffett Ave., Warrenton, $294,900.

Cannon Professional Center LLC, Serena W. Hendershot as managing member, to Lindas Realty LLC, Unit 101, Battlefield Professional Building Condo, 559 Frost Ave., Warrenton, $220,000.

Lee District

Michael W. Jackson to Joseph J. Dwyer, Lot 62, Phase 2, Section 1, The Meadows Subdivision, 12160 Amanda Court, near Remington, $280,000.

Patrick B. and Katy C. Stein to Linda J. Kane, Lot 20, Block B, Boyd M. Smith Subdivision, 12277 Piney Lane, Remington, $239,000.

Zachary E. Stalls to Jacqueline Krone and James Cobb, Lot 132-R, Phase 4, Wankoma Village Subdivision, 7693 Wankoma Drive, Remington, $229,000.

Marshall District

John D. and Beverly A. McCord, by substitute trustee, to Wells Fargo Bank NA, 10.46 acres, 4675 Fiery Run Road, near Linden, $650,601, foreclosure.

Moreman LLC, Joshua B. Bernstein as manager, to Arletta LLC, 135 acres, 10012 Carr Lane, Delaplane, $1,377,010.

Joseph W. Newland to Jefferson Holdings LLC, 0.51 acre, 4043 Rectortown Road, and 0.51 acre, 4049 Rectortown Road, Marshall, $340,000.

Diane T. Harrington and Marcia T. Johnson to David R. and Jodi M. Frisby, Lot 35, Fleetwood Farms Subdivision, 4066 Rolling Hills Drive, near Delaplane, $435,000.

Moreman LLC, Joshua B. Bernstein as manager, to Mary W. and Manuel H. Johnson Jr., 149.5 acres, Carr Lane, near Delaplane, $1,495,198.

Richard K. and Margaret D. Koehnke to Peter J. and Grace L. Baughan, 33.6 acres, 8146 Great Run Lane, near Warrenton, $829,000.

Paul G. and Nancy F. Stafford to Patrick U. and Denise Dyberg, 4.26 acres, 10634 Pleasant Vale Road, near Delaplane, $862,000.

Sean G. and Staci L. Stevens to Daniel C. and Kathryn M. Flanigan, 5.2 acres, Lot 1, Keyser Road Estates Subdivision, 5564 Keyser Road, near Hume, $445,000.

Scott District

Stephan M. Lamb, by bankruptcy trustee, to Ronald G. Selfe, 2.3 acres, Lot 8, Kenthurst Subdivision, 7134 Kenthurst Lane, near The Plains, $1,300,000.

NVR Inc. to Colton and Allison Winters, Lot 108, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, 7460 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $563,500.

Unlocked vehicles entered overnight in Bealeton area

Posted Tuesday,
February 11, 2020
1 ·

Warrenton Gordmans store will open Tuesday, March 3

Posted Tuesday,
February 11, 2020
1 ·

PATH Foundation awards 27 grants totaling $1 million

Posted Tuesday,
February 11, 2020
1 ·
Photo/FISH via Facebook
Fauquier FISH volunteers last May as they gathered to assemble DASH meal kits for the needy. FISH received a $47,000 PATH grant for operations.
Our general operations grants alleviate the pressure of securing funding, allowing our local nonprofits to thrive and focus on the important work they do each day.
— PATH Foundation President Christy Connolly
The Warrenton-based PATH Foundation on Friday announced just more than $1 million in general operations grants to 27 nonprofit organizations in Fauquier, Rappahannock and northern Culpeper counties.

PATH makes the grants annually for direct or indirect costs related to the nonprofits’ activities and operations. The foundation’s program focuses on helping “organizations to run smoothly, pursue their best work and establish sustainable principles of best practice.”

PATH President Christy Connolly said: “The PATH Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and vitality of our community, and empowering local organizations to do their best work is one way we can accomplish our goal

“General operating funds are vital to any organization, but they can sometimes be difficult to obtain. Our general operations grants alleviate the pressure of securing funding, allowing our local nonprofits to thrive and focus on the important work they do each day.”

To qualify, the recipients must address one or more of the PATH Foundation’s four areas of focus: access to care, childhood wellness, mental health and senior services.

The foundation considers adherence to best practices related to governance, finance, public disclosure and programming principles, as well as their commitment to strategic planning.

This year’s grants went to:

• Afro-American Historical Association, $36,000

• Allegro Community School of the Arts, $15,000

• American Red Cross, $5,000

• Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier, $42,512

• Bull Run Mountains Conservancy, $25,000

• Child Care & Learning Center, $60,000

• Community Touch, $50,000

• Experience Old Town Warrenton, $14,045

• Fauquier CADRE, $14,800

• Fauquier Community Child Care, $85,000

• Fauquier Education Farm, $19,945

• Fauquier Equestrian Forum, $13,000

• Fauquier Family Shelter Services, $75,000

• Fauquier FISH, $47,010

• Friends of the Rappahannock, $75,000

• Headwaters Foundation, $40,000

• Hospice Support of Fauquier County, $15,000

• Kid Pan Alley, $32,000

• Lord Fairfax Community College, $75,000

• Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center, $22,086

• Rapp Center for Education, $22,000

• Rapp@Home, $18,500

• Rappahannock Pantry Inc., $69,554

• The Arc of North Central Virginia, $2,919

• The Clifton Institute, $35,732

• Windy Hill Foundation, $22,000

• Youth for Tomorrow, $85,000

The grants totaled $1,017,103.
For more information about the PATH Foundation and its grant cycles, visit

Warrenton pastor’s prayer riles Democrats at Capitol

Posted Tuesday,
February 11, 2020
29 ·
I think that the statehouse belongs to all the citizens. And all the citizens have a voice. If it’s my turn to have a voice, and I am a pastor, what do you expect from me? If you don’t want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don’t invite one.
— Pastor Robert Grant
By Graham Moomaw
Virginia Mercury

RICHMOND — Democrats walked off the floor of the House of Delegates on Tuesday morning as the Warrenton pastor invited to give the opening prayer delivered stinging remarks condemning abortion and gay marriage and said God would bring his “wrath” against those who don’t follow biblical principles.

“Is this a prayer or a sermon?” a delegate yelled from the Democratic side of the chamber as the prayer turned increasingly political.

Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) ultimately ended the prayer by banging her gavel and moving right into the Pledge of Allegiance.

Democrats sharply criticized the prayer’s tone, calling it a breach of the normal protocols for guest clergy.

“It was totally disrespectful to all of us, all of us in this House,” said Del. Luke Torian (D-Prince William), also a pastor.

The pastor, the Rev. Dr. Robert M. Grant Jr. of The Father’s Way Church in Warrenton, had been invited by Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall).

Speaking to reporters afterward, Mr. Grant stood by his remarks and called the Democratic response “unprofessional.”

“I think that the statehouse belongs to all the citizens. And all the citizens have a voice,” Mr. Grant said. “If it’s my turn to have a voice, and I am a pastor, what do you expect from me? If you don’t want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don’t invite one.”

As he walked off, a man accompanying Mr. Grant asked a group of reporters if they were aware that “sodomy” was once considered an offense worthy of capital punishment. He declined to give his name.

Guests delivering the opening prayers — which are usually nonpolitical and encompass a variety of religious faiths — are typically invited to send in the text of their remarks beforehand. That did not happen with Tuesday’s prayer, according to House officials.

Even some Republicans said they felt the tone was inappropriate.

“I don’t know if he was ill-instructed or didn’t realize what he was here to do,” said Del. Matt Fariss (R-Campbell County). “This wasn’t the place or the time to do all of that. … This is a time we need to be working together and not being divisive.”

Under Democratic control for the first time in decades, the General Assembly is advancing legislation to roll back restrictions on abortion and strengthen laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.

Other Republicans didn’t appear upset by the prayer. Socially conservative Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun) posed for a photo with Mr. Grant afterward in the Capitol rotunda.

Del. Webert declined to comment.

Del. Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond), a pastor, said most prayers are delivered as blessings for legislators and the work they’re undertaking.

“In many ways it felt like condemnation,” Del. McQuinn said of Tuesday’s prayer.

“Most of the clergy that come here have been very respectful of the opportunity extended to them,” Del. Torian said. “And every now and then you get someone that goes off the rail.”

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
February 11, 2020
0 ·

School superintendent seeks 5.1% budget increase

Posted Tuesday,
February 11, 2020
8 ·
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Superintendent David Jeck’s proposal calls for an increase of $5.3 million to raise pay for 13 categories of employees.
It’s always good to remember that almost 90 percent of our budget goes to people.
— Superintendent David Jeck
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Superintendent David Jeck proposes a $155.8-million operating budget for Fauquier pubic schools — up 5.1 percent for fiscal 2021, which begins July 1.

The school board Monday night received Dr. Jeck’s plan, which calls for an increase of $3.8 million in county funding.

The local share of education funding would rise 4.1 percent to $96.9 million.

State funding would rise 8.2 percent to $52.2 million.

> Documents at bottom of story

“We’re in a better place than I expected” on state funding, Dr. Jeck told the board.

The state’s formula for determining local school funding has improved for Fauquier, resulting in a projected increase of 8.2 percent. But, the superintendent cautioned that local officials won’t know the precise amount of state funding until the governor and General Assembly complete Virginia’s two-year budget next month.

The governor’s proposed budget includes no funding for teacher raises in its first year, Dr. Jeck added.

Projected federal funding of $4 million accounts for just 3 percent of the total proposed budget.

The total operating budget would increase $7.5 million from this year’s $148.2 million.

The 20-school system has 11,267 students and 1,883 employees, including 923 teachers.

“It’s always good to remember that almost 90 percent of our budget goes to people” in benefits and salaries, Dr. Jeck noted.

Teachers would get 3-percent raises, accounting for $1.4 million of the budget increase Dr. Jeck proposes.

Another $976,000 would fund “step” increases on the salary scale for teachers, librarians and counselors.

Thirteen categories of employees would get raises as part of the school system’s goal of reaching 91 to 99 percent of the “market” averages.

Across the system, raises would cost almost $5.3 million.

Presenting his seventh proposed Fauquier school budget, Dr. Jeck also recommends a $10.50 minimum hourly wage for employees. Part-time cafeteria and playground monitors start at $9.55.

“We feel like nobody should come to work for us and make less than $10.50,” the superintendent said.

The budget also would cut costs for employees with family members on the county/schools health insurance program. For example, the $504 monthly premium for a family on the “Keycare 15” plan would drop to $216.

Benefits — including pensions and health and life insurance — would account for $1.9 million in new spending.

The budget would add 10 teaching, counseling and related positions, along with one in the budget office.

The school system also would lease eight new buses at a cost of $140,000 next year.

Dr. Jeck’s total proposed school budget — including grant-funded programs, food service, textbooks and debt service — would total $169.2 million, up 5.4 percent.

The school board will conduct a Feb. 24 public hearing on the proposed budget. After a work session, which could produce changes, the school board will send its proposed budget to the board of supervisors, which controls local spending.

The supervisors also will conduct a public hearing on the total county budget and proposed taxes rates before adopting a plan in late March.

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

FY 2021 Proposed Budget Sum... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

FY 2021 Supts Proposed Budget by Fauquier Now on Scribd

New Warrenton police chief says small town a good fit

Posted Monday,
February 10, 2020
1 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
“I really felt like this was the right time for me and the right community,” new Warrenton Police Chief Mike Kochis says. “People in this community are engaged. It’s not like that everywhere.”
He’s definitely led from the front. He understands police work, builds relationships and understands that we are part of the community . . . . I’ve never seen him get mad. He sees your point of view.
— Alexandria Police Sgt. Ryan Waple
Michael P. Kochis
• Age: 45

• Home: Bristow

• Work: Warrenton police chief, starting Feb. 3.

• Salary: $120,000

• Experience: Police officer/commander, City of Alexandria Police Department, 2004-present; police officer, City of Manassas, 2003-04; police officer, City of Roanoke, 1999-2003.

• Military: Sergeant, U.S. Army Airborne, 1993-99.

• Education: FBI National Academy, December 2018; master’s certificate, law enforcement education, University of Virginia, 2018; bachelor’s degree, Columbia Southern University, 2016; certified public manager, The George Washington University, 2014; Butler (N.J.) High School, 1992

• Community: President, Alexandria Police Commanders Association; tutor, Alexandria public schools; youth soccer coach.

• Hobbies: Brazilian jiu-jitsu

• Family: Wife and two teenage sons.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

He comes from one of the state’s larger law enforcement agencies, but Warrenton’s new police chief considers himself a small town guy.

Michael P. Kochis started Monday, Feb. 3, as the leader of Warrenton’s 32-employee department with a $3.5-million annual budget.

Chief Kochis left the City of Alexandria police force as a lieutenant and night shift Patrol Division commander after 15 years there. Alexandria’s department has a $68.8-million budget, 312 officers and 115 civilian employees.

Warrenton has about 10,000 residents and Alexandria about 159,000.

Chief Kochis, 45, grew up in Butler, N.J., with a population of about 7,000. He played high school football as an undersized defensive tackle and graduated in a class of about 100.

“Growing up in a small town is neat. I go back and I still know everybody. You don’t realize it then, but it prepares you to talk with people,” he said of his roots.

Those who’ve worked with Warrenton’s new chief describe him as approachable and calm.

“Mike has always said that when things get tough, take a step back and look at the big picture,” said Ryan Waple, an Alexandria Patrol Division sergeant on the 30-officer overnight shift, which Chief Kochis commanded.

“He’s definitely led from the front,” Sgt. Waple added. “He understands police work, builds relationships and understands that we are part of the community . . . . I’ve never seen him get mad. He sees your point of view.”

Charlotte Hall, a longtime leader in the downtown Alexandria business community, agreed. A Warrenton native, Ms. Hall worked closely with Lt. Kochis, the police department’s former liaison to Alexandria business organizations.

“Mike was always really collegial,” she said. “He seemed to check his ego at the door . . . . He wasn’t afraid to talk through issues (such as tour buses blocking downtown traffic) with us. And, he always had a nice way of saying, ‘No,’ if he had to.”

Lt. Kochis also did a lot to help merchants with crime prevention, said Ms. Hall, who did not know he had applied for the Warrenton job until the town announced his selection. Nor, did he know that she grew up here.

The new police chief said he has a 90-day plan for starting in Warrenton — with much of his early focus on getting to know the community.

Asked about the adequacy of department resources and operations during a 90-minute interview last month, he deferred: “I need to learn and I need to listen.”

After Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer late last year selected him and five others as finalists among 37 applicants for the job, Mr. Kochis accelerated his research. He asked Lt. Tim Carter, the acting chief and a 27-year veteran of the department, to meet.

Lt. Carter suggested coffee. The future chief wanted more time and asked to meet over lunch, which stretched beyond two hours.

“What I really liked about him was that, before asking me questions, he explained his leadership style first and plans for moving the department forward with things like a leadership development plan,” said Lt. Carter, the department’s longest tenured officer, who turned down the chief’s job. “What he told me was very much the same as I was thinking about.”

The future chief also stressed “openness and transparency,” Lt. Carter said. “He had really done his homework.”

What attracted him to the Warrenton police chief position, open since Louis Battle’s abrupt retirement announcement in May 2018?

“I wasn’t looking to leave the Alexandria Police Department,” Chief Kochis said. “Alexandria is a model agency. They treated extremely well. I had a wonderful relationship with Chief (Michael) Brown.”

But, the Alexandria lieutenant noticed the position opening and talked with law enforcement friends, including Fauquier sheriff’s Capt. Mark Jones, with whom he attended the FBI National Academy at Quantico in 2018.

“I’d been in Alexandria 15 years, and I’m not getting any younger,” Chief Kochis said. “I really felt like this was the right time for me and the right community. People in this community are engaged. It’s not like that everywhere.”

His research and meeting with Lt. Carter led him to conclude that Warrenton has “a great police department with a lot of good officers.”

But, Chief Kochis acknowledged: “It’s been a hard 18 months. I want (the officers) to know I understand that . . . .

“As a chief of police, you need to be a leader and a manager. There’s a difference . . . . Leading people is much more complicated.”

Part of that role means putting an emphasis on “officer wellness. We don’t talk enough about PSTD (post traumatic stress disorder),” because of some things police officers witness. “For a long while, we threw away a lot of officers. I feel, as a profession, we’re getting away from that.

“It’s important for officers to be able to take leave when they need it, especially working 12-hour shifts.”

Alexandria Sgt. Waple said of his former boss: “Mike definitely takes care of his people. He focuses on you as an individual and your personal — as well as professional — needs.”

Over the years, Lt. Kochis stood up for fellow officers, including one who sued the department for gender discrimination and four others whom Chief Brown suddenly demoted.

His tenure in Alexandria included four years leading the Narcotics Bureau, administering Narcan to save a life and helping establish the city’s drug treatment court.

Fauquier “Sheriff (Bob) Mosier’s right,” he said. “We can’t arrest our way out of the opioid epidemic.”

In Alexandria, a Narcotics Bureau detective would respond to every reported overdose and would give the drug user a disposable mobile phone — also known as “a burner” — preloaded with contacts for recovery and treatment programs, he noted. In turn, those treatment programs also had the addict’s new contact information and could attempt to help him or her.

“It’s been a very successful program,” he said.

In addition to drugs, spikes in violent crime always challenge police departments, Chief Kochis said.

Warrenton recently has experienced several violent crimes: The shooting during a drug deal in the Walmart parking lot, the New Year’s Eve stabbing outside a Warrenton bar and the Jan. 8 shooting that killed a man and left two others wounded in a Jackson Street apartment.

Because of its location, Warrenton also has more traffic than most communities its size — another challenge for the police department.

Chief Kochis said he wants to hear from the community about its priorities.

“I’ve been very careful not to come in with preconceived notions,” he said.

He will host a “Meet the Chief” event at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton. Between accepting the job last month and starting last week, he spent a lot of time in town — attending the Martin Luther King Day ceremony, participating in a crisis response planning drill with other local agencies and talking with stakeholders.

Although he has much to learn, the chief said he’d like to launch a citizens’ police academy — similar to the one the sheriff’s office started last year — and a volunteer program to receive help from retired officers.

Speaking frequently of “community inclusion” and “engagement,” Chief Kochis noted that Robert Peel’s principles in establishing the London police force almost two centuries ago remain entirely relevant.

The new chief also grew up with blue in his blood. His father retired after a career as a policeman in Edgewater, N.J. His brother serves in the New Jersey State Police.

“It’s something I was always attracted to,” Chief Kochis said.

After high school, he enlisted in the Army and rose to the rank of sergeant in the Airborne, with two tours in South Korea and assignments in the U.S. After leaving the Army, he joined the Roanoke Police Department and spent four years there before going briefly to Manassas, then to Alexandria.

“I can tell you he’s engaged,” Warrenton’s Lt. Carter said. “It looks like he’s gonna be open and transparent. Anytime you get a new leader, there’s bound to be some apprehension. But, he’s approachable; he talks to people . . . .

“I’m as excited as any time in my 27 years here.”

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

No. 2 county administrator abruptly placed on leave

Posted Monday,
February 10, 2020
6 ·
Deputy County Administrator Catherine “Katie” Heritage
We have been informed she has been placed on administrative leave, pending the county administrator’s actions. We’re going to be informed of his final actions Thursday.
— Supervisor Chris Granger
Catherine M. “Katie” Heritage
• Age: 57

• Home: Near Orlean

• Work: Deputy county administrator, 2008 to present; assistant county administrator, 2003 to 2008; senior court services officer/director, Fauquier County Adult Court Services Office, 1996 to 2003.

• Salary: $156,679

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, English, George Mason University, 1985; law degree, George Mason University; master’s degree, public administration, George Mason University.

• Organizations: Member/past president, Warrenton Rotary Club; member, Virginia Local Government Managers’ Association; past president, Virginia Criminal Justice Association; in 1998, Mrs. Heritage received the criminal justice association’s distinguished service award; Virginia State Bar.

• Family: Husband, Dr. Douglas E. Heritage.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

In an unprecedented move, Fauquier County government’s long-time No. 2 administrator last week got placed on administrative leave.

Deputy County Administrator Catherine M. “Katie” Heritage’s suspension apparently took effect Friday.

Mrs. Heritage, 57, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Her supervisor, County Administrator Paul S. McCulla refused to discuss the abrupt action.

Out of the office Monday for personal reasons, Mr. McCulla said in a text: “I have no comment (on) any story you might be doing.”

But, the county administrator last Thursday began to notify by phone Fauquier’s board of supervisors of his decision to put Mrs. Heritage on administrative leave.

County Human Resources Director Janelle Downes on Monday did not respond to email questions regarding the deputy county administrator’s job situation or to a follow-up phone call.

Mr. McCulla had planned to inform Ms. Heritage about putting her on administrative at 4 p.m. last Thursday, according to Supervisor Chris Granger (Center District).

His 11 a.m. conversation with the county administrator regarding Mrs. Heritage lasted roughly two minutes, Mr. Granger said.

“We have been informed she has been placed on administrative leave, pending the county administrator’s actions,” he said. “We’re going to be informed of his final actions Thursday. I think he’s going to inform us of what he’s going to do.”

The board will meet Thursday, Feb. 13, in the Warren Green Building at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton. The supervisors plan to conduct a closed session at 11:30 partly to “discuss personnel matters related to specific individuals.”

Supervisors Chris Butler (Lee) and Holder Trumbo (Scott) received a call from the county administrator last Thursday afternoon on their way back from Richmond, where they had attended local government day at the state capitol.

Mr. McCulla notified them over speaker phone of his decision on Mrs. Heritage.

“Paul gave us the heads-up that he was going to be taking a personnel action and would fill us in when (the board) got together,” Mr. Butler said.

He added: “I don’t know any details at this point. I try to steer clear of personnel issues. That’s not our purview.”

In a text, Mr. Butler also said that “all personnel matters should be directed” to Mr. McCulla.

Of Fauquier’s 700-plus employees, only Mr. McCulla and County Attorney Kevin Burke serve under individual contracts at the pleasure of the supervisors.

Mr. Trumbo declined to comment for this story.

Board Chairwoman Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall) and Supervisor Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run) also declined to discuss the issue.

“This is a personnel issue,” Ms. McDaniel said in a text, referring the matter to Mr. McCulla.

Sheriff’s office and county administration representatives stressed that the case involves no potential criminal activity.

An attorney and member of the Virginia Bar, Mrs. Heritage in 1996 joined the Fauquier County Adult Court Services Office as a senior court services officer and later served as director until 2003.

That year, then-County Administrator Bob Lee hired Mrs. Heritage as an assistant county administrator. Five years later, she got promoted to deputy county administrator.

As a county administrator, Mrs. Heritage’s areas of responsibility have or continue to include emergency services, public safety, courts, social services, economic development, parks and recreation, the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport and the county landfill.

Mrs. Heritage also has overseen Fauquier’s human resources, information technology, finance and budget offices. Since 2003, she has served as the government’s public information officer and General Assembly legislative coordinator.

Mrs. Heritage staffs six local government panels, including the Fauquier County Broadband Authority, Water and Sanitation Authority/County Liaison Committee and census committee.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English, a law degree and a master’s in public administration from George Mason University.

She and her husband Dr. Douglas E. Heritage, a retired obstetrician and gynecologist, live near Orlean.

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

Alleged hit-and-run driver arrested on five charges

Posted Monday,
February 10, 2020
0 ·
Deputies charged Julio David Funes-Carranza, 25, with DUI, felony hit and run, reckless driving (failure to maintain control), an open container of alcohol and no vehicle insurance.
Fauquier sheriff’s deputies Friday arrested a Marshall man on driving under the influence and other charges after he allegedly fled the scene of a traffic accident.

Driving a two-door Nissan sports car, Julio David Funes-Carranza, 25, lost control and slid off northbound Route 17 about three miles north of Warrenton, Sgt. James Hartman said.

“At approximately 4:20 p.m., a caller advised she was travelling southbound in the left lane on James Madison Highway near Cannonball Gate Road,” Sgt. Hartman wrote in a press release. “She advised a red two-door Nissan sports car was travelling northbound when it appeared to lose control and slid sideways into the median causing dirt and debris to strike the caller’s vehicle.

“The red Nissan then turned around and left the scene, travelling north on James Madison Highway toward the Marshall area. Deputies met with the caller and observed significant damage to her vehicle. She was able to provide a partial tag.”

A school bus driver then reported “he had witnessed the crash and later observed the red Nissan parked near the Tractor Supply store in Marshall,” Sgt. Hartman said.

Deputies later arrested Mr. Funes-Carranza.

He faces charges of DUI, felony hit and run, reckless driving (failure to maintain control), an open container of alcohol and no vehicle insurance, according to Sgt. Hartman.

No injuries were reported.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
February 10, 2020
0 ·

4 face first-degree murder charges in Warrenton

Posted Friday,
February 7, 2020
1 ·
Charged with first-degree murder (clockwise from top left): Alexander Golden, Antonio Nehemiah Ogburn, Emily Race and Jaden Lawrence Staples.
The Warrenton Police Department on Friday charged four suspects with first-degree murder of a 27-year-old man Jan. 8.

Just after 4 a.m. that day, police found Fabian Sosa shot to death and two other men wounded in his Jackson Street apartment. Witnesses described three men fleeing the scene before they arrived, according to police.

Authorities later identified six suspects and charged them with accessory to commit robbery or accessory to murder after the fact. But, until this week none faced a murder charge.

Police Chief Mike Kochis said that in consultation with Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook, his department placed first-degree murder charges against:

• Alexander Golden, 18, of Detroit.

• Antonio Nehemiah Ogburn, 18, of Detroit.

• Emily Race, 19, of Warrenton. 

• Jaden Lawrence Staples, 18, of Detroit.

All four suspects remain in custody, Chief Kochis said.

Conviction of first-degree murder in Virginia carries a prison sentence of 20 years to life.

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Teenage phone addiction

Posted Friday,
February 7, 2020
2 ·
Stock Photo
The 2019 PRIDE survey found that most local teens think some of their friends spend too much time on their phones. And, half of those surveyed said they’re tried to cut their own screen time.
60.5 percent

Of local middle and high school students think that some friends use their phones too much, according to the 2019 PRIDE survey.

More than 6,000 Fauquier and Rappahannock public school and Highland School students in Grades 6 to 12 took the online survey. Most of the questions dealt with alcohol, drug and tobacco use and mental health.

Working with schools, the Mental Health Association of Fauquier County administers the national survey every four years.

Last year, 3,505 respondents said friends spend too much time on their phones.

And, 2,883 students — or 49.9 percent — said they had tried in the last year to cut down on their own cell phone use.


Inches of rain fell on Warrenton last year, according to the town Public Works Department.

The most rain, 12.1 inches, came down last May.

The driest month, November had 2.2 inches.

Warrenton averages 44 inches of rain (including snow converted to liquid) annually, meaning last year’s precipitation exceeded that by 36 percent.


Fauquier County’s projected population in 2040, according a new report from the the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center.

That would represent an 18.8-percent increase from the center’s 2020 estimate of 71,395 for Fauquier.

By 2030, the study estimates a 7.4-percent increase to 76,698 people.

The U.S. Census Bureau will conduct its official population count this April 1.

$1 million

The amount Fauquier expects to pay Daleville, Va.-based Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group to determine the value of all real estate in the county.

Fauquier reassesses property every four years. The Code of Virginia requires local government to reassess all property at 100 percent of fair market value.

The new values will take effect Jan. 1, 2022, with the first tax bills under reassessment due that June.

The county board of supervisors will use the new values to set the real estate tax rate.

Fauquier has more than 33,000 parcels. Under the contract, Wampler-Eanes will charge a $29.25-per-parcel assessment fee.

The board of supervisors probably will approve the agreement on Thursday, Feb. 13.


Rectors have led St. James’ Episcopal Church of Warrenton since its establishment in 1816, according parishioner Richard Gookin’s recently published history of the church.

Rev. George Lemmon served as Saint James’ first rector for three decades, from 1816 to 1846. Hired in 2013, Rev. Ben Maas today holds the post.

Outskirts Press published Mr. Gookin’s 152-page “Notes on the History of Saint James’ Church” in November.

“I think the biggest surprise is the fact that every church in Warrenton in the Civil War was used as a hospital or a stable, except Saint James,” Mr. Gookin, 88, said of his research.

Among the town’s churches, only Saint James conducted regular services during the Civil War, he said.

A fire in 1910 destroyed the original sanctuary on Culpeper Street. Two years later, workers completed the existing structure.

Brett Hamby seeks second Warrenton council term

Posted Friday,
February 7, 2020
0 ·
Brett A. Hamby
He’s there if you want to talk to him. He’s always willing to help.
— Ward 3 resident Donna Joerger
Brett Allen Hamby
• Age: 44

• Work: Battalion chief, Prince William County Fire and Rescue; employed there since 1995.

• Home: East Shirley Avenue, Warrenton.

• Office sought: Ward 3 seat on Warrenton Town Council; four-year term starts July 1; elected to first term in 2016.

• Experience: Dispatcher, Fauquier emergency communications center, 1993-95.

• Education: Fauquier High School, 1993.

• Organizations: Warrenton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co.; joined as junior member in 1989; Warrenton Planning Commission, March 2015 to 2016.

• Family: Single; parents, Gail and Larry Hamby, live in Fauquier.

• Hobbies: Fishing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The first-term Warrenton town councilman likes public service.

“I think the best part of this job has been the citizens you’re able to help,” said Brett A. Hamby, who on Friday announced he will seek re-election to represent Ward 3 on the seven-member panel.

Four more years on the council would give him another chance to do more of that.

Another term also would allow him to help complete some unfinished council business, including construction projects, explained the Prince William County fire and rescue battalion chief. He chairs the council’s Public Utilities Committee and serves on the Finance Committee.

“I think that this council has made a lot of progress in the last four years and there’s still more stuff to do,” Mr. Hamby, 44, said.

Meeting the town’s infrastructure demands remains “one of our biggest challenges,” he said of road, water and sewer treatment projects. “It’s tough keeping up on all of that. We’ve had to invest a lot of time and effort to catch up.”

The May 5 election will feature all five ward seats on the council. Warrenton citizens in 2018 elected the two at-large council members and the mayor to four-year terms.

So far, Mr. Hamby alone has declared for the Ward 3 seat. In 2016, he narrowly defeated Ken Henson, getting 51.9 percent of the vote. Mr. Hamby received 135 votes and Dr. Henson 125.

All candidates have until March 3 to file the required paperwork with Fauquier’s General Registrar a 528 Waterloo Road.

Mr. Hamby’s list of council accomplishments during the last four years includes:

• The Nov. 21 purchase of the former BB&T bank at 21 Main St. for a new Town Hall.

“The thought was to consolidate all of our people back into one Town Hall,” Mr. Hamby said of $2.2-million acquisition.

In part, that will allow the town to reduce expenses related to renting office space for staff, he said.

The new Town Hall property also provides onsite parking, which the existing one lacks, Mr. Hamby added.

• Pedestrian and motorist-related safety improvements, including repairs to “dilapidated crosswalks,” the installation of “bump-outs” at Fifth and Main streets and the construction of a roundabout at Falmouth and East Shirley Avenue across from Walmart.

The roundabout “has reduced the overall speed” along that portion of East Shirley Avenue by “about 10 mph,” Mr. Hamby said.

• Numerous technology upgrades. Before the current council took office, the town didn’t broadcast public meetings via its website.

“Now, I feel like we do everything in front of anybody that wants to watch,” Mr. Hamby said.

In his 2016 campaign, he called for greater government “transparency,” particularly in budget review matters.

For example, unlike when he took office, citizens today can read the budget on the town’s website — no longer needing to come Town Hall to get a paper copy of it, he noted.

In an effort to government more citizen-friendly, the council meeting room also has a pair of large wall-mounted monitors that allow citizens to read documents as the panel discusses them, he said.

During the current council’s term, Town Hall got wireless internet service, Mr. Hamby added.

His first campaign for the Ward 3 seat emphasized the value of economic development.

To help promote business growth, the council in the last four years has cut the Business, Professional and Occupational License tax and established an accelerated business permit review process, he said.

Along with Experience Old Town Warrenton, the council generally has helped create a more welcoming business climate, Mr. Hamby suggested.

Partly because of their efforts, Mr. Hamby believes Main Street today has far fewer empty shops.

“When I ran the first time, Main Street had like 12 vacant storefronts,” he noted. “I think right now it has two or three.”

Home Goods also has opened a store in the old Sears building at the Warrenton Village Center — further evidence of the town’s appeal as a place to do business, Mr. Hamby suggested.

Economic development remains a priority for the council, he said.

“We certainly want to continue our commercial base,” he said. “One of the things I just asked for at the last council meeting is a (zoning ordinance) text amendment review for our commercial zoning up and down Broadview Avenue” in response to merchants’ concerns related to current parking, landscaping, buffering and property setback requirements.

Those issues emerged during the study and review of the $8.6-million Broadview Avenue construction project, Mr. Hamby said.

The plan includes the construction of medians and pedestrian crosswalks along almost a mile of Broadview. Work should begin in 2022.

Donna Joerger, who lives in Ward 3, has known the councilman for about five years.

“I think he’s fantastic because of what he’s doing for the town and us,” she said of Mr. Hamby. “We never had a voice” until he joined the council. “We didn’t know who our councilman was, basically.”

Parking problems had plagued her Hillsborough neighborhood along Aviary Street, said Ms. Joerger, 64.

For example, people parked vehicles in unmarked crosswalk areas, inconveniencing pedestrians, she said.

Mr. Hamby met with homeowners to hear their concerns, Ms. Joerger said. Soon after that, town workers painted hash-marked crosswalks to distinguish them from parking spaces, she said.

A broken fence that separates Hillsborough from the Warrenton Branch Greenway also needed repair, said Ms. Joerger, a Fauquier Bank collections specialist.

After Mr. Hamby learned of that, town workers fixed the fence, she said.

Ms. Joerger described the councilman as accessible and responsive.

“He’s there if you want to talk to him,” she said. “He’s always willing to help.”

In October, James N. Hartman announced that he will campaign for the Ward 4 council seat. If elected, he would succeed, Bob Kravetz, who will not seek a third term.

Jerry Wood (Ward 1) will not seek a second term. In August 2014, the council appointed Mr. Wood to the vacant seat. He succeeded Powell Duggan, who resigned the month before to begin a four-year term as mayor.

Incumbents Alec Burnett (Ward 2) and Kevin Carter (Ward 5) have not announced whether they will seek re-election.

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
February 7, 2020
0 ·

Faces of Fauquier: Helping people “fix” disagreements

Posted Thursday,
February 6, 2020
1 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
“People come in here agitated, upset,” Aaron Addison says. “I feel good knowing that I played a part in helping them fix what was wrong.”
There’s going to be a better day for somebody out there, because of what I’m doing and what we’re doing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

To earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mary Washington, the Warrenton man had to complete an internship.

The summer before his last semester at the Fredericksburg college, Aaron V. Addison landed one with the Warrenton-based Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center at 98 Alexandria Pike.

Mr. Addison’s six-week experience as assistant to PDRC Executive Director Lawrie Parker proved more rewarding and productive than he might have imagined.

With no solid employment prospects as his December 2018 college graduation approached, he got a call from Mrs. Parker, who offered him a program manager’s positon.

“ ‘We thought you did great work’,” Mr. Addison said she told him. “ ‘We’d love to have you back. You’re a great fit’.”

He joined the nonprofit mediation group as a contract worker in January 2019. Mr. Addison and Lisa Barkema help manage PDRC’s “Community Justice and Peacebuilding Program.”

Funded with a PATH Foundation grant, the program seeks to “bring early access to conflict resolution, conflict management strategies in general to the community,” said Mr. Addison, 25.

His responsibilities include spreading the word about the center’s extensive services and recruiting volunteers who would be trained to handle community disputes and “restorative justice” cases, the Fauquier native explained.

“Restorative justice” cases often involve teenagers who “did something wrong that they shouldn’t have,” he said.

The process allows for out-of-court solutions.

Hypothetically, “a kid knocks out a window and maybe the neighbor will come directly to us and we’ll help sort it out,” Mr. Addison said.

To make amends, a restoration agreement might require the teen to mow the affected neighbor’s lawn and pay to replace the broken window, he said.

Raising PDRC’s profile and services, Mr. Addison meets with individuals, community groups, organizations and law enforcement agencies in Fauquier, northern Culpeper and Rappahannock counties.

“I introduce them to PDRC — who we are, what we do,” he said.

The work and the organization’s mission seem to suit him.

“In the back of my head, I know I’m building relationships that are going to fix things,” said Mr. Addison, who hopes to become a certified mediator in March. “They’re going to help make something better.

“There’s going to be a better day for somebody out there, because of what I’m doing and what we’re doing. At the end of the day, we’re an organization serving people.”

• Age

• Home 
Near Warrenton

• Work
Program manager/bookkeeper, Piedmont Resolution Dispute Center, Warrenton, January 2019 to present; fabricator, Space Saver Self-Storage Co., Richmond, September to December 2014; sales associate/driver, Special Occasions, Warrenton, 2009-13.

• Why do you do the job?
We handle all kinds of things. People come in here agitated, upset. Some people come in and they totally work it out. I feel good knowing that I played a part in helping them fix what was wrong.

I help them come to an understanding with another person that brought peace to their life and hopefully in the future — even though I’m not there to see it or witness it — they will be better off. That’s why I do what I do.

And, I need the job.

• Family
Mother, Leslie Addison.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, business administration, University of Mary Washington, 2018; Middleburg Academy, 2013.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Twenty-five years. All my life.

• Why do you live here? 
It’s home. My family’s been here for hundreds of years, and I haven’t had a reason to leave yet.

• How do you describe this county? 
Big. A lot of room to move around. There’s country, farmland. That’s kind of why I love it.

It’s very comfortable. I like the pace of life. But, it bothers me that suburbs are popping up. There’s more and more people. The traffic’s gotten worse. I don’t like how long it takes to get from one side of town to the other.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I would like the county to have more recreational things to do — a movie theater, bring the bowling alley back. That was something I used to love to do as a kid. There’s no recreational things to do, unless you’re into the outdoors, which I am.

If you’re into going to social gathering places — like Carousel ice cream — we kind of don’t have a lot of that.

• What do you do for fun? 
Go to concerts, parties. I love music. I’ve played the guitar since middle school. I play like the saxophone, harmonica. I sit around and make noise.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Crockett Park (near Midland).

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years? 
More and more people will be moving here. Farmland’s going to be replaced with suburbs and housing complexes. Word’s gotten out about Fauquier as a nice place to live. It’s not too far from D.C., not too close.

• Favorite TV show?
“Justice League”

• Favorite movie? 
“Donnie Darko”

• Favorite book?
“The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

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

• Favorite food? 
Macaroni and cheese.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom? 
My grandmother (Sonja Addison). Love many, trust few. I’ve always liked the way it sounded. You can love as many people as you want, but be kind of cautious about how many you trust. I’m nice to everybody. I smile and laugh with everybody. But I’m cautious about certain things. I don’t show my hand all the way. I’ve been overly open with people in the past, and it’s come back to bite me.

I’ve met some really nice people in my life and I’ve met some not so nice people.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My grandfather (Victor Addison Sr.). He was always a great example to me of what it meant to be a person and a man and how to live in the world. He’s taught me how to do most of things I do in my life — working on cars, go hunting, fishing.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery? 
I’d pay off my mom’s house, pay off my grandparents’ house, invest in my business. And the rest of it — buy cars, four-wheelers, fancy guitars and all that good stuff. I would love to have a plane. I always wanted to be one of those private-jet people.

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

The bias of our school system’s anti-bias initiative

Posted Thursday,
February 6, 2020
28 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
February 6, 2020
0 ·

Drug distribution charges filed after Catlett raid

Posted Thursday,
February 6, 2020
0 ·
Officers arrested David Patrick, Neal Walsh and Christopher Watkins during the Tuesday night raid of a Catlett home in a drug distribution investigation.
Law enforcement officers arrested three local men — one of them charged with multiple counts of drug distribution — during the raid of a Catlett home Tuesday night.

David Patrick, 36, of Catlett, faces charges of possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of firearms while in possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Fauquier sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said.

At the county jail, deputies found more drugs in Mr. Patrick’s possession, resulting in another criminal charge, Sgt. Hartman said. The suspect remains in the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center without bail.

When they executed the search warrant around 8 a.m. Tuesday at 3407 Elioak Lane also arrested:

Neal Walsh, 32, of Catlett, on a Rappahannock County warrant.

Christopher Watkins, 36, of Warrenton, on Fauquier and Prince William County warrants.

The investigation started Friday night, Jan. 31, when Fauquier sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported overdose at another Catlett address, according to the search warrant.

Deputies administered Narcan to a woman they found unconscious at 4547 Longstalk Lane, according to the document. After her revival, they questioned a man at that home.

The man said “he and multiple other people went to David Patrick’s house earlier in the night . . . and purchased the heroin used in the overdose from David Patrick,” the warrant says.

The deputies also recovered heroin from the Longstalk Lane home.

Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force officers joined sheriff’s detectives in the Tuesday night raid on Mr. Patrick’s house. According to documents, they seized:

• Marijuana.

• Seven guns.

• Assorted ammunition.

• Drug paraphernalia.

• Scales.

• Cash.

• A mobile phone.

“During the search warrant (execution), a deputy suffered a bite wound from a dog on the property,” Sgt. Hartman wrote in a press release. “The deputy was transported to a local hospital for treatment.”

The deputy, recovering at home, got bitten in the triceps, Sgt. Hartman said Thursday.

Previously convicted of drug distribution, Mr. Patrick faces two potential life sentences, Judge J. Gregory Ashwell told the defendant during a brief hearing by video link from the jail Wednesday morning.

Judge Ashwell denied bond.

Should Virginia allow casino gambling?

Posted Thursday,
February 6, 2020
1 ·

Throwback Thursday: Jury convicts on manslaughter

Posted Thursday,
February 6, 2020
0 ·
February 1995: Fauquier sheriff’s investigator Joe Hughes (right) tries to calm Early Jenkins, the victim’s brother, after a jury found Faron Morris guilty of manslaughter — not first-degree murder.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of February 10, 1995

Jury recommends 18 years for manslaughter

After two days of testimony by 21 witnesses, lawyers’ compelling closing arguments and 8-1/2 hours of deliberations, a Fauquier County Circuit Court delivered verdicts in a murder trial that seemed to please no one.

The jury last Friday found Faron Morris, 38, of Nokesville, guilty of voluntary manslaughter and two other felonies in the July 9 shooting death of a Manassas man.

The jury recommended the maximum sentence of 18 years for Morris, who shot and killed Larry “L.J.” Jenkins last summer as he backed a pickup truck out of Morris’ driveway on route 761 in eastern Fauquier.

Early Jenkins, the victim’s brother, left the courthouse in tears Friday afternoon, visibly shaken by the jury’s decision. Jenkins and prosecutors wanted Morris convicted of first-degree murder, with a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Defense attorney Roger Inger tried to convince the jury that Morris acted in self defense.

Judge W. Shore Robertson will sentence Morris on March 15.

Board barely backs Route 29 widening

Fauquier’s board of supervisors Tuesday offered a lukewarm endorsement of the plan to widen Route 29 north of Warrenton.

By a 3-2 vote, the board gave symbolic support for the project, which calls for the state to add a third lane on each side of the divided highway from the town limits to Route 605.

The $2.5-million project would make it a six-lane road. The plan also calls for construction of a ramp on the southbound side of the busy highway to connect Route 29 with the planned Route 17 Spur.

Supervisors Georgia Herbert (Scott) and Jim Green (Marshall) voted against the project because of inconsistencies with the county comprehensive plan and the potential impact on the Warrenton Lakes neighborhood.

Local judge and lawyers seek appointments

By month’s end, Circuit Court Judge W. Shore Robertson could be headed for bigger things.

The bar associations in Fauquier and Rappahannock have endorsed Robertson, 55, to fill an opening on the 10-member Virginia Court of Appeals.

Although the General Assembly has yet to act on that appointment, lawyers from Fauquier and Rappahannock have begun to line up political support to succeed Robertson on the 20th Circuit bench if he becomes an appellate judge.

Jeffrey W. Parker, 43, of Sumerduck, and Douglas K. Baumgardner, 44, of Washington, Va., said they will seek the local judgeship if it becomes available.

Commissioner Childs announces retirement

Fauquier County Commissioner of Revenue Alice Jane Childs will retire at the end of the month after 29 years as the county’s chief tax assessor.

Mrs. Childs announced her retirement Tuesday during a closed-door session with the board of supervisors.

During an interview Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. Childs said she wants to leave “for personal reasons” and declined to be more specific. She earns $69,815 annually.

A three-judge panel of the 20th Circuit will appoint a successor to complete the remaining 10 months of Mrs. Childs’ four-year term. Voters will elect a new commissioner of revenue in November.

Deputy Commissioner Ross D’Urso said he plans to apply for the vacancy, but the Opal resident remains undecided about seeking election. D’Urso is treasurer of the Fauquier County Democratic Committee.

Hearth & Home in hot market

Working quietly in a New Baltimore warehouse, the company has helped heat up the fiercely competitive Northern Virginia housing market.

The local division of Hearth & Home Distributors Inc. sells about 4,000 manufactured fireplaces a year — most of them for new houses.

“It’s a good location,” said Jim Clark, who manages he division based in the New Baltimore Business Park. “We can cover down into Fredericksburg very easily. Charlottesville’s just a little too far . . . . But, our territory generally goes up to the Potomac.”

The business has evolved, with gas fireplaces overtaking wood-burning models.

“Now, we’re more like 70 percent gas and 30 percent wood,” Clark said.

Delaplane resort proposal applicant seeks delay

Posted Wednesday,
February 5, 2020
0 ·
Photo/Google Earth
The proposed 42-room inn with a 50-seat restaurant would operate on 50 acres near the winery.
I do not believe that there are enough votes at this time (among Fauquier’s five board of supervisors’ members) to approve my resort proposal.
— Brian C. Roeder
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The winery owner again has indefinitely postponed further action on his controversial resort proposal near Delaplane.

“I do not believe that there are enough votes at this time (among Fauquier’s five board of supervisors’ members) to approve my resort proposal,” said landowner and applicant Brian C. Roeder, explaining the requested delay in a statement Wednesday.

Mr. Roeder also asked the county to the remove project from the supervisors’ Feb. 13 meeting agenda.

But that probably won’t happen, because the county already has advertised a public hearing on the project.

County Attorney Kevin Burke declined to comment on Mr. Roeder’s request.

But, under similar circumstances, “typically what (the supervisors) do is open the public hearing and tell people it’s been deferred and they can speak if they want or” wait to comment should a proposal get rescheduled for another hearing, Mr. Burke said Wednesday.

In a one-sentence email Wednesday morning, Mr. Roeder notified Fauquier Planning Chief Adam Shellenberger of his decision.

Mr. Roeder seeks board approval for a 42-room inn with a 50-seat restaurant on 50 acres next to his Barrel Oak Winery and Farm Taphouse along Grove Lane. Mr. Roeder also wants approval to host up to 78 events a year, with a maximum of 160 people each.

Other planned features call for horse and hiking trails, a swimming pool, spa, green house and garden to serve the proposed restaurant.

After a lengthy public hearing on Oct. 17, the county planning commission voted, 3-2, to recommend denial of “The Sanctuary at Barrel Oak.” The commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, which has final authority.

About week later, Mr. Roeder decided to postpone the project indefinitely.

During the planning commission’s October public hearing, opponents argued the proposed “sanctuary” uses would be incompatible with the comprehensive plan’s vision for and agricultural zoning and rural character of the area.

They also focused on land-use, traffic, water use, scenic impacts, property values and noise issues.

In phone interview Wednesday, Mr. Roeder refused to elaborate on his written statement.

“It remains my hope that Fauquier will find new ways to encourage and support the livelihood of farmers and small business owners in Fauquier,” Mr. Roeder wrote.  “If we fail to do so, our farmlands will continue to be converted into mansions on large parcels and isolated subdivisions on smaller clustered parcels.

“This process causes the loss of our invaluable rural identity while increasing property taxes and converting Fauquier into a commuter-based bedroom community. I love Fauquier and I will continue to fight to prevent this outcome by advocating for thoughtful economic development both in our service districts and on select, well-chosen parcels in the countryside capable of feeding direct-to-consumer sales revenues to our farmers.”

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
February 5, 2020
0 ·

Did your household give money to a local charitable organization in 2019?

Posted Wednesday,
February 5, 2020
2 ·

Kress new chief nursing officer at Fauquier Health

Posted Tuesday,
February 4, 2020
2 ·

Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute membership letter real

Posted Tuesday,
February 4, 2020
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
February 4, 2020
0 ·

Remington store, medical practice off to “steady” start

Posted Tuesday,
February 4, 2020
0 ·
Photos/Don Del Rosso
Christian Warner and his wife Erika devoted about $25,000 and lots of sweat equity into transforming Remington’s old Town Hall for their businesses.
Dr. Erika Warner treats chiropractic patient Stephanie Kennedy.
Melissa Janssen, Dr. Warner’s mother, helps Larry Yeager with card selections in the Snake Oak Farm Store.
We’re happy with how it’s going, and it’s meeting our expectations. Every month we get a new artist or producer who comes in and says, ‘I would like to show my stuff off and see if somebody wants to buy it.’
— Snake Oak Farm Store co-owner Christian Warner
Snake Oak Farm Store/The Remington Chiropractic Clinic
• Where: 203 E. Main St., Remington

• Owners: Dr. Erika and Christian Warner

• Store hours: 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

• Chiropractic hours: 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday

• Store Facebook page: Click here

• Instagram: Click here

• Chiropractic website:
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

With no clear plan, the Remington couple for years thought about starting a business.

Christian Warner believed his wife Erika should open her own chiropractic office. But, Dr. Warner, who works for the Fredericksburg Spine and Injury Center, brushed aside the idea.

The 35-year-old chiropractor wanted to focus her professional energy on patient care.

“I used to laugh at him,” recalled Dr. Warner, who earned her doctorate in the discipline from the San Jose, Calif.-based Palmer College of Chiropractic West in 2010. “Why would I want to open my own thing when I get go home every day after I’m treating my patients and turn off my brain?”

But the laughing stopped last spring when the couple learned that the Town of Remington had listed for sale the old municipal building at 203 E. Main St. In December 2017, Remington’s staff moved to the new municipal building at 105 E. Main St.

“We love the Town of Remington,” said Mr. Warner, 35. “When we saw the building come up we thought, ‘Man, that would be something we could really make work in downtown’.”

The Warners, who live on a 27-acre farm near Remington, quickly put together a business plan that called for a “farm store” in the front and a chiropractic office in the rear of the 1,052-square-foot structure.

The only way a shop could work financially “would be to sort of diversify the space,” Dr. Warner explained.

That might be achieved by “combining” a store with a chiropractic business, the couple concluded.

“It’s almost how a lot of farmers have off-farm jobs, but they’re still doing the farm stuff,” Dr. Warner said. “I think you have to kind of diversify a little bit nowadays if you want to have a retail location.”

The old Town Hall, originally the State Bank of Remington, and the former 224-square-foot jail stand on two parcels totaling about 3,000 square feet.

The town listed the structures and the site at $129,900. In May, the council accepted the Warners’ bid of $115,000 for the property. With a Small Business Administration loan for that amount, they closed the deal June 11.

For the next four months, the couple and Dr. Warner’s parents put “hundreds of hours” of labor into remodeling the old Town Hall, Mr. Warner said. The couple estimate they spent $25,000 in materials, fixtures and furnishings.

The 1905, one-story stucco with a small attic needed no structural work.

“We were really fortunate buying it from the town,” Mr. Warner said. “It was a municipal building. So they took really good care of it.”

Interior improvements included spackle, a fresh coat of paint and the installation of a new ceiling, flooring, insulation and walls to create an office that separates the store from the patient treatment room.

Snake Oak Farm Store opened Saturday, Oct. 12 — the day of the Remington Fall Festival. Dr. Warner started treating patients the following week.

“Everything is hyperlocal,” Mr. Warner, a 7-Eleven district manager, said of the farm store’s inventory. “So, it’s either made by members of our family or, with very small variance, it’s made a few miles from where we are right now.”

Dr. Warner, for example, makes personal care products, including salves, body butter and soaps, and bees wax candles. In the spring, the store will carry cut flowers, which she grows at the family farm.

Named after the farm, the store also carries items created by her mother, who knits, quilts and hooks rugs.

Mr. Warner makes metal belt buckles and medallions. Using an 1800s letter press in the old jail behind the store, he also produces cards and posters.

The store also features the work of area artists, ceramicists and a woodworker.

The Remington store/chiropractic business model requires Dr. Warner to continue to work at the Fredericksburg clinic.

“I think the reason we feel so comfortable with the store and with where we’re headed with this whole venture is because I have a very solid income source elsewhere,” she said.

Dr. Warner believes the demand exists for chiropractic services in Remington but not enough today to pay the family’s bills, Dr. Warner said. The couple have a 5-year old daughter.

“I don’t think Remington alone could support what I need to do from an income standpoint, simply because at this practice I can really only see one patient every half hour or so,” she said.

Operating a one-person practice, Dr. Warner has no staff, treats all patients and manages the administrative side of the business. The practice only takes patient appointments through its website.

Dr. Warner works six days a week — Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the Fredericksburg spinal center, Monday and Wednesday at her Remington practice and Saturday morning at the farm store.

The Warners, who moved from Fredericksburg to Fauquier in 2013, seem pleased with reception to both businesses.

“We’re happy with how it’s going, and it’s meeting our expectations,” Mr. Warner said of the store. “Every month we get a new artist or producer who comes in and says, ‘I would like to show my stuff off and see if somebody wants to buy it’.”

Larry Yeager, who lives near Remington, visited the shop Monday afternoon for the first time.

Mr. Yeager, the pastor of Warrenton’s Heritage Presbyterian Church, stopped in to browse and left with five note cards that Mr. Warner produced.

Two cards depicted owls and the others showed a penguin standing on top of a Scottish terrier.

“It’s neat to have local products,” Mr. Yeager, 67, said of the blank cards, which cost $3 each. “It’s different from what you get at Hallmark. And, I tend to prefer cards that don’t have anything written in them. I’d rather write my own stuff.”

Dr. Warner treats about 20 patients, adding one or two new clients per week.

Stephanie Kennedy, 49, plays competitive tennis and, as the owner of a social media consulting firm, spends a lot of time at a desk. Ms. Kennedy suffers neck, shoulder and hip pain.

Other chiropractors have treated her for about four years. Dissatisfied with that care, Ms. Kennedy — based on a friend’s recommendation — started seeing Dr. Warner in December.

“What’s really great about Erika — different than any other chiropractor I’ve been to — is she does muscle work for you,” she said. “You just don’t come in here to get adjustment,” she said, moments after a Monday treatment session. “And she teaches you how to take care of yourself at home.”

Ms. Kennedy added: “Every other chiropractor I’ve been to is, ‘Can we see you next week?’ And, I’m like, ‘Well, no.’ Her goal is not to see you every week. She’s definitely not in it for the money.”

The chiropractic office does no advertising — at least for now. In Dr. Warner’s experience, word-of-mouth referrals work best.

“I like to develop my patient base slowly,” she said of the business. “It’s definitely steady, and I’m very happy with it.”

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

School board supports Taylor Middle renovation

Posted Tuesday,
February 4, 2020
1 ·
Photo/Google Earth
Taylor Middle, which shares a 39-acre site with Brumfield Elementary, has more room for potential future expansion than Warrenton Middle, according to school officials.
No solution checks all the boxes. It’s like a Lego puzzle that has a couple of pieces missing.
— Assistant Superintendent Prashant Shrestha
Fauquier Middle Schools
> Auburn
• Built: 2004
• Students: 570
• Capacity: 657
• Campus: 34.5 acres

> Cedar Lee
• Built: 1973
• Students: 654
• Capacity: 789
• Campus: 33.3 acres

> Marshall
• Built: 1974
• Students: 468
• Capacity: 656
• Campus: 34.8 acres

> Taylor
• Built: 1951
• Students: 470
• Capacity: 547
• Campus: 39.1 acres, shared with Brumfield Elementary

> Warrenton
• Built: 1934
• Students: 434
• Capacity: 545
• Campus: 14.8 acres, shared with county garage and maintenance facilities
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Taylor Middle School in Warrenton would undergo renovation as part of a $55-million construction plan that Fauquier’s school board unanimously endorsed Monday night.

Attempting to reach consensus with the county supervisors, who control funding, the board seeks:

• $27.6 million to renovate Taylor, which opened in 1952 as Fauquier’s high school for black students. Taylor’s capacity would remain unchanged at 547 students. Warrenton Middle School would get repurposed, at undetermined cost, for offices, other educational programs and possible recreational use.

• $17.5 million to expand Cedar Lee Middle School in Bealeton, increasing its capacity by 300 students. That would make it large enough for 1,089 students in Grades 6-8.

• $9.9 million to add a wing for up to 300 more students at Auburn Middle School near New Baltimore. Opened in 2004, Auburn — the county’s newest middle school — then could accommodate up to 957 students. The school board also will consider a smaller addition if it would save money.

> Options at bottom of story

For a variety of reasons, crafting a middle school plan poses complex challenges. School officials this week again reviewed bussing patterns and potential future residential development in considering the options.

“No solution checks all the boxes,” Assistant Superintendent Prashant Shrestha told the board. “It’s like a Lego puzzle that has a couple of pieces missing.”

The latest plan would remove 545 middle school “seats” from Warrenton and effectively move them to Bealeton and the New Baltimore area.

Less than a year ago — after contentious deliberations — the school board and county supervisors adopted a plan that would renovate and expand Taylor or Warrenton at $30 million and expand Cedar Lee at $10 million.

> Resolution at bottom of story

But, the latter figures merely represented a guess, according to school officials. More analysis resulted in the 75-percent rise in the Cedar Lee project’s estimated cost.

After several years of debate, it remains uncertain whether the board of supervisors will support the latest school board plan.

The school board will seek a meeting with all five supervisors to discuss it.

Another option — maintaining Warrenton Middle with a $25.5-million renovation and repurposing Taylor — ranked as the school board’s second choice Monday night.

But, the board rejected two other options that would have expanded Cedar Lee and one of the Warrenton schools without an addition to Auburn.

Expanding Auburn and Cedar Lee first would allow renovation of a Warrenton school without the use of temporary trailer classrooms at an estimated cost of at least $1.2 million. Students would move out of the school chosen for renovation, with Auburn and Cedar Lee absorbing enrollment surges.

The school board prefers to renovate Taylor because:

• It has a 39-acre campus — versus 14.8 acres at Warrenton — making future expansion potentially more practical and less expensive.

Both sites present challenges. Warrenton Middle School and the county maintenance complex share a very tight tract of land, with homes and businesses surrounding them. Taylor and James G. Brumfield Elementary share a larger site, some of it in a 500-year floodplain, which the county deems unbuildable.

• Taylor’s shared parcel with Brumfield would make it possible to route much of the middle school’s traffic to Alwington Boulevard — between Home Depot and Walmart — where stoplights make vehicle flow safer.

Warrenton Middle has vehicle access only to Waterloo Street. Creating a second access — through the county maintenance complex behind the Warrenton firehouse — would be difficult and expensive, with the true costs unknown.

“Warrenton Middle seems like a wild card to me that may be more expensive” because of the road access, school board member Stephanie Litter-Reber (Lee District) said. “Taylor looks like a better option to me.”

Superintendent David Jeck again noted that an Auburn expansion would provide the lowest cost per seat for new construction.

Early in Monday night’s work session, school board Chairman Duke Bland (Marshall) again said: “The board of supervisors is not in business to tell us how to build our schools. They are our funding agent.”

But, everyone acknowledges that any solution requires the agreement of the two elected boards.

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

> Column: Maybe, just maybe, a solution for middle schools

CIP Choices Middle School (... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Resolution Middle School Concept Plan 2019 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Fauquier County libraries “change lives every day”

Posted Monday,
February 3, 2020
1 ·

Oak View National Bank reports record profit in ’19

Posted Monday,
February 3, 2020
3 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Total deposits at the Warrenton-based bank increased 9 percent, ending the year at $208.4 million.
We are very pleased with the full year results for 2019, as well as the opening of our loan production office in Washington, Virginia, in the fourth quarter, which will expand our loan origination capacity.
— Vice Chairman and CEO Michael Ewing
Warrenton-based Oak View National Bank earned a record profit of just more than $2 million in 2019.

The independent bank’s net income rose 18.2 percent from $1.73 million a year earlier.

Basic earnings per share of 71 cents rose 18.3 percent from 2018.

“We are very pleased with the full year results for 2019, as well as the opening of our loan production office in Washington, Virginia, in the fourth quarter, which will expand our loan origination capacity,” Vice Chairman and CEO Michael Ewing said. “At the same time, however, the bank experienced an unusually high level of loan prepayments in the fourth quarter, which resulted in the loan portfolio decreasing by over $10 million for the quarter.

“The short-term impact was a reduction in our net interest margin as the funds were reinvested in lower yielding short term investments.”

Total assets stood at $263.7 million Dec. 31, up $25.5 million or 10.7 percent year-over-year.

Gross loans edged up 0.8 percent to $201.6 million.

Total deposits rose 9 percent to $208.4 million.

Credit quality remained strong, with just one non-performing loan, totaling $29,425, at the end of 2019.

For the fourth quarter of 2019, the bank reported net income of $532,195, up 6.6 percent from the same period of 2018.

Oak View opened in June 2009. The independent, locally-owned bank has full-service offices in Warrenton and Marshall and loan production offices in Culpeper and Washington, Va.

The bank’s stock, with about 2.9 million shares outstanding, trades over the counter under the symbol: OAKV.

Woodlands management course offered this month

Posted Monday,
February 3, 2020
0 ·

Fauquier SPCA sheltering surge of seized animals

Posted Monday,
February 3, 2020
1 ·
Photos/Lawrence Emerson
Fauquier SPCA staff member Maddy Garrison comforts one of the 43 Doberman pinschers seized from a local breeding kennel last week.
A French bulldog from the raided kennel gets some love from Emily Cross at the Casanova shelter Friday afternoon.
It’s stressful but, at the same time, we wanted to get the animals out of there and into a safe situation.
— Fauquier SPCA Executive Director Devon Settle
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

After an intense week, the Fauquier SPCA shelter near Casanova will reopen to the public Monday afternoon.

Almost instantly, the shelter’s population more than doubled Tuesday, Jan. 28, when Fauquier Animal Control officers seized 138 dogs and other critters from a kennel near Broad Run and charged its owner with animal cruelty.

“It’s stressful but, at the same time, we wanted to get the animals out of there and into a safe situation,” SPCA Executive Director Devon Settle said as she led a tour of the shelter. “They are getting cleaned and walked.

“The sick ones have greater needs. They are all being taken care of.”

But, the surge of seized animals — pushing the shelter census to 250 — has taxed the SPCA’s 28-member staff, which includes a full-time veterinarian. Four local vets also have volunteered their services to help.

Ms. Settle and her staff got some advance notice of the plan to raid Irina Barrett’s kennel last week.

“We did have a triage team here, and we got a lot of empty kennels ready,” she said.

But, the staff had to covert other rooms to temporary kennel space for the dogs — most them Doberman Pinschers and French bulldogs — ranging in age from young adults to puppies just weeks old. The officers also seized chickens, guinea pigs and a turtle.

Around-the-clock care includes blood tests, x-rays, medical treatment, feeding, walking and comforting, especially for the most traumatized animals.

Although the staff trains for and deals with difficult cases all the time, the sheer number of needy animals affects the humans caring for them.

“They laugh; they cry; they joke,” Ms. Settle said of her staff. “They just work terrifically as a team.”

The overtime hours and supply needs also have strained the shelter, which remained closed until Monday morning, Feb. 3, for routine business.

“Everybody wants to come out right now and adopt a dog or walk a dog,” Ms. Settle said Friday afternoon.

But, the seized animals also constitute evidence in the criminal case. So, it could take some time to determine their future.

Financial donations and contributions to the SPCA’s “Wish List” on Amazon will provide the most immediate help, Ms. Settle said.

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 Monday,
February 3, 2020
0 ·

Fauquier County real estate transfers January 23-29

Posted Monday,
February 3, 2020
0 ·
The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Jan. 23-29, 2020:

Cedar Run District

Eleanor A. Wendlberger and Theresa K. Hartman to Corey and Candace Hartman, 1 acre, 4688 Dumfries Road, near Catlett, $350,000.

Eugene and Virginia Longerbeam Trust, by T. Huntley Thorpe III as trustee, to Mercedes and Candelaria Martinez, 3 acres, 6067 Catlett Road, Bealeton, $190,000.

Center District

Dorothy A. Osborn to Steven T. and Sherry N. Nold, Lot E-17, Phase 13, North Rock Subdivision, 191 North View Circle, Warrenton, $365,000.

Paula M. and Jesse L. Vasquez Jr. to Jacob Jones and Brenda Diaz, Lot 44, Whites Mill Subdivision, 7623 Morven Lane, near Warrenton, $500,000.

Lee District

Raven Home Buyers LLC, Lanny R. Cornwell III as manager, to Hunter A. Digges and Kaitlyn R. Gay, 5.44 acres, Lot 5, Section 2, Wolf Trap Estates Subdivision, 13333 Union Church Road, Sumerduck, $290,000.

NVR Inc. to Candace Hicks, Lot 25, Block B, Phase 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7542 Hancock St., Bealeton, $268,205.

Tungalag Mazzarisi to Jesus and Taqsha G. Penton, Townhouse 95, Phase 3, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 10843 Krystal Court, Bealeton, $273,000.

Mintbrook Developers LLC, Russell Marks as manager, to NVR Inc., Lots 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, Phase 1, Neighborhood B, Mintbrook Subdivision, Bealeton, $330,000.

Main Street LLC, James Cheatham as managing member, to Iglesia D. Israelita Inc., 0.34 acre and 0.25 acre, 100 N. John Stone St., Remington, $465,000.

Marshall District

Thomas L. Shaffer and Karen M. Vanderlinde, trustees, to Mathew L. and Erica T. Christensen, 63.7 acres off Leeds Manor Road, near Orlean, $390,000.

Elizabeth T. Fincham to Clara T. Kelley, one-half interest, 1.44 acres, 646 Federal St., Paris, $90,000.

Theodore M. Koler to TRC Global Mobility Inc., 2.25 acres, Lot 2, Carter Division, 9745 Crest Hill Road, near Marshall, $483,750.

Jennifer Harlow to Robert S. and Betty F. Kelly, 10.56 acres, Lot 10, Wheatley Estates Subdivision, 7915 Citation Drive, near Orlean, $420,000.

Scott District

Steven M. and Karen S. Mead, trustees, to Robert L. and Jessica H. Woelkers, Lot 11, Phase 2, Brookside Subdivision, 6847 Tanglewood Drive, near Warrenton, $655,000.

Gary L. and Jane E. Grenter to Rebecca S. and Charles B. Young II, Lot 12, Phase 14-A, Brookside Subdivision, 7832 Birch Court, near Warrenton, $699,000.

Fauquier Lakes LP to Lakeside Homes LLC, 0.26 acre and 0.26 acre, Lots 22-A and 27-A, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, near Warrenton, $400,000.

Will you watch the State of the Union address Tuesday night?

Posted Monday,
February 3, 2020
5 ·

2 men sexually assaulted local teen, authorities say

Posted Friday,
January 31, 2020
6 ·
Authorities arrested Brodrick McFarland, 19, and Reek’quan Norman, 18, both of Stafford, on Thursday.
Law enforcement officers Thursday arrested two Stafford County men for alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old Fauquier girl.

The girl on Jan. 20 reported the assault to the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. James Hartman said.

“The juvenile advised that she had met two male subjects at the Chick-fil-A located at 25 Dunn Drive in Stafford,” Sgt. Hartman wrote in a press release. “They exchanged Snapchat information and the juvenile provided the subjects with her home address in Fauquier County.
“Later that evening, the subjects showed up at the juvenile’s house and asked her to meet with them outside. She got into their vehicle and observed a handgun in plain view. The subjects then drove the juvenile to a secluded area in the county and had her perform sexual acts on both of them. They then drove to the 7-Eleven located at 2337 Garrisonville Road in Stafford and performed sexual acts with the juvenile in the bathroom. Afterwards, they drove the juvenile home and dropped her off at the end of her driveway.”
Using security video from business, Stafford sheriff’s detectives identified the suspects as Reek’quan Norman, 18, and Brodrick McFarland, 19, according to Sgt. Hartman.
Stafford detectives arrested them Thursday and executed search warrants for their homes and a vehicle.

“During arrest, a loaded handgun was found concealed in the waistband of McFarland’s pants,” Sgt. Hartman said. “A substance consistent with marijuana was also located on his person.”
Mr. Norman faces a charge of carnal knowledge of a child.

Authorities charged Mr. McFarland with carnal knowledge of a child, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a concealed weapon and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
“The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office obtained additional warrants for the suspects,” Sgt. Hartman said. “Both suspects were incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.”
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