Rappahannock News - - COMMENT -

Jan. 6, 1999

The dust­ing of snow and a few sprin­kles of rain re­cently did noth­ing to ease the drought that has gripped Rap­pa­han­nock and the rest of Vir­ginia for the past six months. First pond lev­els dropped while streams shrank to a trickle or dis­ap­peared com­pletely; now res­i­den­tial wells are start­ing to fail.

“It’s nerve rack­ing. The last thing I want to do is have my well go dry,” Thomas Mul­lany of Flint Hill com­plained. His well went dry and then slowly came back. Mean­while, he said, the fam­ily of four stopped us­ing the well and in­stead trucked wa­ter from town and washed their laun­dry in War­ren­ton or Front Royal. The well is work­ing again, but the fam­ily ra­tions baths and still does their laun­dry else­where.

The county Health De­part­ment is­sued per­mits for res­i­den­tial re­place­ment wells at a con­sid­er­ably higher rate in 1998 than in 1997, Charles Shep­herd, district en­vi­ron­men­tal health man­ager, said. “Au­gust, Septem­ber and October were the three high­est months for per­mits in 1998 with 10 re­place­ment wells be­ing drilled in October. Typ­i­cally only one or two are drilled in a month.”

A crowd packed in the court­house cel­e­brated their vic­tory Mon­day night when the Board of Su­per­vi­sors gave their ap­proval for the Sper­ryville Gate­way Pro­posal.

“This is the big­gest crowd I’ve ever seen in this room in fa­vor of a pro­ject,” John McCarthy, county ad­min­is­tra­tor, said. “We’re use to crowds this large be­ing against some­thing not for some­thing. It takes much more en­ergy to be for any­thing.”

Most of the smil­ing faces could be rec­og­nized from the monthly com­mit­tee meet­ing, and 17 stood to speak prais­ing the pro­ject, which aimed at im­prov­ing pedes­trian traf­fic and the main road in the vil­lage of Sper­ryville. Only three county res­i­dents ex­pressed their reser­va­tions about ap­ply­ing for the grant, and none of them were from Sper­ryville.

Jan. 10, 1980

Com­plet­ing a string of ju­di­cial re­tire­ments, Judge Wil­liam F. Mof­fett Jr. of Ju­ve­nile and Do­mes­tic Court has an­nounced that he will leave the bench Feb. 1.

Judge Mof­fett fol­lows Cir­cuit Court Judge Rayner V. Snead and District Court Judge Wil­liam W. Car­son Jr. in their re­tire­ments. Judge Car­son left the bench in De­cem­ber; Judge Snead will leave it this month.

Judge Mof­fett, 59, has presided over ju­ve­nile and do­mes­tic re­la­tions cases since 1973 in Fauquier, Loudoun and Rap­pa­han­nock coun­ties. He is a res­i­dent of Wash­ing­ton in Rap­pa­han­nock.

Lately the judge has been suf­fer­ing ill health. He un­der­went an op­er­a­tion on Tues­day.

Be­fore his present judge­ship he was a county judge in Rap­pa­han­nock, ap­pointed to that po­si­tion in 1968. He served as Com­mon­wealth’s At­tor­ney in Rap­pa­han­nock from 1953 to 1955.

Mof­fett was grad­u­ated from Wash­ing­ton and Lee Univer­sity and be­gan law stud­ies there be­fore he en­tered the Coast Guard in 1942. He earned the rank of lieu­tenant be­fore leav­ing the ser­vice in 1946.

He then re­turned to Wash­ing­ton and Lee to fin­ish law school, earn­ing his de­gree (and top hon­ors) and pass­ing the bar in 1947.

Eighty pigs and three brood sows were burned to death and a large barn with far­row­ing quar­ters was com­pletely de­stroyed by fire Fri­day at the John Sh­effield prop­erty in View­town. Ori­gin of the fire was un­known.

Ac­cord­ing to Mrs. Sh­effield, she had fed and wa­tered the an­i­mals in the morn­ing and checked the barn that af­ter­noon. She had looked out from the house about a half an hour be­fore Mrs. Mar­garet Bar­ron called on the phone to say the barn was burn­ing and she had called the fire de­part­ment., Mrs Sh­effield said. The Bar­rons live across the road at the View­town Store.

Fire­man Everett Smith of Amissville said he knocked boards off of the back part of the barn and was able to free some of the hogs that were saved. “It was re­ally a pa­thetic sight,” said /Smith. “One of the an­i­mals has been burned and was ly­ing down. I thought it was gone, but when I got the board off the barn, the hog was able to get up and run for it.”

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