January 5, 1984

RCES principal Maggie Piper says she thinks fingerprinting the county’s children is an “excellent” idea. 

Piper said she was glad to learn of the School Board’s recent approval for assistant superintendent Tom Campbell to work out a program with Sheriff John Henry Woodward for doing so. She added that the plan has been adopted by “many systems” as a measure for solving kidnapping cases.

Piper said there have been cases of children found several years later and restored to their parents through the proof of fingerprinting. 

“A stolen infant changes tremendously over a few years — even with a five-year old (a child’s appearance can change a great deal before he is found),” she said. “The fingerprints establish in court that it’s your child.”

“Ready,” the screen flashes. 

That word marks the arrival of the age of computers at Rappahannock National Bank.

Up until a few weeks ago, all checks and deposits at the bank were manually posted on bookkeeping machines, then filed by name, not by account number. Most of those who bank at Rappahannock National like being identified that way. For some, it is even a source of pride when shopkeepers in the other Washington and its suburbs refuse no matter what identification is produced to accept their checks because they aren’t stamped with numbers..

“We won’t be posting checks or deposits in this building anymore,” explained cashier Mary L. Payne in an interview. “We’re going to do data processing. First all transactions will go through our proof. Then the bottom of the check will be magnetically encoded with the account number, the bank route number and the amount of the check.” 

Bundles of checks will be picked up by courier in Washington every afternoon, taken to Data-Tel in Alexandria to be run through master computers there and then returned to Rappahannock National the next morning for filing, Mrs. Payne said. 

“For balances, we’ll look them up on the computer’s screen. The system will put statements at intervals, we’ll take the checks from the files and send them out with the statements. We’re learning a lot,” she added.

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Feb. 21, 2001

Every Sunday morning the people still gather there to hear the gospel as they have for years. There have been many preachers there throughout the years, each one holding a special place to those who have attended church and Sunday School.

Since Primitive Baptist Church and the Thornton Gap Regular Baptist Church are so close together, “the story goes” they were holding services at the same time on a Sunday morning. The church on the hill (Thornton Gap Regular Baptist) was singing “Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown,” and the Primitive Baptist below was singing with an answer, “No Not One.”

Thornton Gap Regular Baptist Church was organized in 1787 and the present building was built in 1915. The dedication service was preached by Elder J. Y. Thompson in May 1916. The Civil War had effects upon the church, as the church records has the following notation:

“In the months of July and August 1862 a Yankee Army encampment around Sperryville and about the Meeting House at Thornton Gap, and such were their conduct that it tended to destroy all the social and religious enjoyments of the church, they did not only treat the members of the church and the citizens in the neighborhood with the greatest indignity and cruelty, but destroyed the Meeting House in such a manner as rendered it unfit for a place of worship.”

Local farmer, environmentalist, marathoner, and concerned global citizen Chris Parrish of Viewtown is scheduled to compete in a benefit marathon in the Western Sahara desert on Feb. 27. This Sahara Marathon is being conducted to aid 185,00 Sahrawi refugees, who have been confined to refugee camps in the Western Sahara in Algeria for 25 years, where they fled when Morocco invaded Western Sahara after Spain ended its colonial rule.