The Experiment Comes to a Close


It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform everyone that the Clarke Daily News is ceasing operations today, September 26, 2012. It has been an honor to provide news for our community and it has been my pleasure to become acquainted with so many wonderful people that I would probably not have met otherwise.

This experiment has always been about community. Sustainable news in a format that is easily accessible is an integral part of every community. It creates the narrative memory that we can all contribute to and share. But, as large media companies continue to contract, creating ever growing areas that see little or no news coverage, that narrative is lost. The Clarke Daily News was an effort to strip news down to the bare bones and see if there was a way to sustain it. For three years Ed Leonard and I wrote about the tragedies and the triumphs in Clarke County and everything in between that makes-up the mosaic of our community. During that time, we published over 4,000 articles. But, what was really amazing was the level of interest people had in participating in the experiment through comments. During our years of work, there were almost 20,000 comments on the site. There was something unique about the level of ownership people felt. Comments on our articles outstripped other news sources 10 to 1. But, therein lay the problem that would ultimately be the demise of the CDN.

Owned by two equal partners with distinctly different editorial perspectives and views of how the comments should be moderated, the middle ground was always an ongoing compromise. The line between free speech and hurtful screed is impossible to define precisely, and ultimately was not acceptable to either one of us. For me, it became hurtful and counter to the whole idea of community. In the end, there was no compromise that was workable. Since Mr. Leonard and I are both tied to the brand, there was no path forward other than to shut-it-down.

So this experiment ends today, but I think there is hope. News can survive in small communities. While there are stories that can bear the full brunt of free speech, the overall approach needs to also protect stories that are simply nice reflections of a beautiful place.

Best regards,



See Comments



Clarke County Firm Part of Business Group that Lands International Green Energy Award

ECU Installation on board the Taiko

A collaboration that includes Shenandoah Control Systems, Inc., a technology firm located in Clarke County, Virginia, has received international recognition for an inspired green energy solution that has a broad range of applications to improve fuel efficiency and emissions in diesel engines and boilers.

On Friday, September 21, 2012, Savannah Ocean Exchange announced the winners of the 2012 Orcelle Grants, which provided $100,000 in funds to two recipients and are aimed at identifying inventions that protect the environment. One of the two grants was awarded for NONOX: Emulsion Combustion Systems submitted by Eric Cottell of NONOX, Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas, Wes Pence of Wholesome Energy and Jerry Boyles of Shenandoah Control Systems Inc. The “Emulsion Combustion System” or ECU, is designed to reduce fossil fuel emissions by improving the combustion process on the inlet side of the diesel engines. The ECU produces an on-demand, water-in-oil emulsion fuel that reduces nitrous oxide, black carbon/soot, and other air pollutants. The system can also be switched back and forth between emulsion and straight fuel at the flick of a switch. The NONOX Fuel Emulsions System is easy to install with little or no down time for the customer, the return on the investment is typically less than a year, and on larger installations less than that. This system is most attractive in today’s market due to ever increasing fuel costs and more stringent emissions regulations.

Wes Pence of Wholesome Energy (middle) and Jerry Boyles (right) prepare to board the Taiko in Long Beach

The process of developing the system began about four years ago when NONOX, Ltd. provided a “proof of concept” oil/water emulsion system for a building boiler heating system at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, VA. Jerry Boyles, owner of Shenandoah Control Systems, Inc., offered his services to NONOX to improve the performance of the system by designing electronic controls to regulate the ratio of water to fuel. After the successful initial installation, the process of emulsion fuels was proposed to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics shipping lines as a means to reduce pollution and fuel consumption for their fleet of ships.

Jerry Boyles said,”Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics agreed to let us design and implement a prototype system on one of their fleet ships, the Taiko, which is a 860 foot long roll on, roll off (RORO) cargo vessel.”

Boyles described the collaboration of the three businesses who worked together to complete the award-winning installation by saying,”To execute the prototype, we formed a collaboration between NONOX, Ltd, the owner of the patented emulsion generation technology, Wholesome Energy, Edinburg, VA, who did the mechanical fabrication and installation of the equipment, and Shenandoah Control Systems. We performed the electrical design and software programming to control the blending of fuel oil and water and fail-safe programming to detect and react to any system faults.”

The prototype was tested on several voyages of the Taiko, including passages from Long Beach, CA to Newport News via the Panama Canal; Melbourne, Australia, around Western Australia to Singapore; and from New York City to Baltimore. The results of the testing showed an average of 4-5% improvement in fuel consumption, a 30% reduction in nitrous oxide emissions and significant reduction in particulate (soot) emissions. Typically, a ship of this size would consume about 65-70 metric tons of oil per day. So, a 5% savings could mean a savings of over  8000 pounds of fuel a day.

Christopher Connor, Deputy CEO and CCO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, congratulated the winner saying, “The NONOX Emulsion Combustion System is an innovative solution that can decrease emissions of harmful substances to the air considerably, both at sea and on land. The team has done an impressive job in developing this promising technology. We hope that the Orcelle Grant will make it possible for them to bring this product to market, and look forward to supporting the laureate on this journey.”

The journey could take the product into many markets. The flexible and  convenient approach can translate to almost any industry. Mr. Boyles said,  “I think what decided the award in our favor is that this technology is applicable to any form of combustion of oil products, whether it be ships, trucks, trains, or stationary boilers.”

Civil War Historian Dr. James McPherson to Lecture in Winchester October 24

Handley Regional Library’s One Book One Community program will host Pulitzer Prize winning author and Civil War historian, Dr. James McPherson at 7 pm at Daniel Morgan Middle School on Wednesday, October 24.

McPherson’s For Cause and Comrades:  Why Men Fought in the Civil War was selected as the one book our whole community will be reading in 2012.  After his lecture, McPherson will take questions and sign books.  Read excerpts from For Cause and Comrades on Tuesdays in October through the 23rd in The Winchester Star.

Dr. McPherson received the 1989 Pulitzer Prize and was recognized in 1986 as the George Henry Davis Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. The author of 20 books and numerous other book and journal contributions about the Civil War, Dr. McPherson has spent his career developing an exceptional command of the history of that era.  Your questions about the Civil War can be submitted via the Web Chat with McPherson through The Winchester Star on Tuesday, October 9 from 10-11 am.

Leading up to Dr. McPherson’s lecture, Handley Regional Library is sponsoring two other events.  “‘To Provoke a Reply:’ Understanding the Civil War through Soldier’s Letters” will feature Jonathan Noyalas, assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Civil War History at Lord Fairfax Community College.  This event will take place at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 3 at the Handley Library Auditorium at 100 W. Piccadilly Street, Winchester.

“Readings from Civil War Diaries,” the second event in the series will highlight the words of those who lived the war.  These readings will take place on Thursday, October 18 at 7 pm at the Old Court House Museum at 20 N. Loudoun Street, Winchester.

All of these events are offered at no charge to the community and questions about this program should be directed to Trish Ridgeway at 540 662-9041 ext 14, or by email at

Obituary for Steven D. Payne-Daniels

Steven Douglas Payne-Daniels, 28, of Winchester, Virginia, died Friday, September 21, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Steven was born January 11, 1984 in Cheverly, Maryland, the son of Michael Anthony Daniels and Sandra K. Payne Mangolas.

He was an electrician with the Local 26 IBEW.

Surviving are his father of Everett, PA; a daughter, Jaden Payne-Daniels at home; a sister, BrittanyAn Grace Daniels DeMayo of Winchester, VA; his mother of Winchester, VA; a grandmother, Donna Sue Daniels of Everett, PA; a nephew, Xavier Thomas DeMayo of Winchester, VA; an aunt, Shannon Daniels of Everett, PA; and many friends and extended family.

The family will receive friends 5:00 – 6:00 P. M. Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at the Enders & Shirley Funeral Home Chapel, Berryville and a memorial service will follow at 6:00 P.M. with Rev. Clell Daniels officiating.  Burial will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to your favorite charity in Steven’s memory.

To view the obituary and send condolences online, please visit

Obituary for Dorothy Rector Heasley

Dorothy Rector Heasley

Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother

Dorothy (Dot) Rector Heasley, 92, of Purcellville, Virginia, passed away at her home on Friday, September 21, 2012. Mrs. Heasley was born December 5, 1919, in Delaplane, Virginia, the daughter of Lewis and Mamie Rector. She was a homemaker and member of Bethany United Methodist Church. She married William (Jack) Riggs Heasley, Sr., on June 19, 1941.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William, (Jack) Heasley; sister, Lillian Wadsworth of Tucson, Arizona; and sister, Helen, as an infant. She is survived by her sister, Ruby Parks of Berryville, VA; her son, William Heasley, Jr., and wife Lynda of Destin, Florida; daughter, Sandra (Sandy) Pierce of Purcellville, VA; granddaughter, Erica and husband Johnny Miller of Berryville, VA; grandsons, Scott and wife Christy Pierce of Remington, VA; Sean and wife Jena Pierce of Marshall, VA; and Shawn and wife Susy Reynolds of Front Royal, VA; and great grandchildren, Alex, Gracie, Beau, Eryck and Logan Pierce, and Bubby and Cori Miller; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 A. M. Friday, September 28, 2012 at Enders & Shirley Funeral Home Chapel, Berryville, Virginia, with Pastor Michael Finn-McKenzie officiating. Burial will be private.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 P. M. Thursday evening at the funeral home.

In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Cork St., Winchester, VA 22601. Online condolences may be sent to

See You at the Pole 2012 Tomorrow at JWMS and CCHS

Last year students at JWMS gathered indoors due to rain.

See You at the Pole, the annual student-led prayer event held at schools across America, is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Students will gather before the day’s classes around the school flagpole to pray for their school, classmates, teachers and their communities. The 2012 See You at the Pole™ theme is Awaken and the Scripture is Ephesians 3:14–21—“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father… I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts…And I pray that you… grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and…that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…’”

Events in Clarke County will include gatherings at Johnson-William Middle School and the Clarke County High School. Students will meet at 7:15 AM at JWMS and 7:30 AM at CCHS.

See You at the Pole™, the global day of student prayer, began in 1990 as a grass roots movement with ten students praying at their school. More than two decades later, millions around the world pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September. These gatherings are simple prayer rallies where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God.

McKesson Corporation Plans Distribution Center in Frederick County Creating 205 New Jobs

Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that McKesson Corporation, a leading healthcare services and information technology company, will invest $36.9 million to establish a new distribution operation in Frederick County. The company will distribute medical and surgical supplies to physician offices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities and home care businesses in a regional service area that includes New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, eastern West Virginia, and northern North Carolina. The project will create 205 new jobs.

McDonnell said, “McKesson’s new distribution facility in Frederick County represents this FORTUNE 500 company’s third operation in Virginia. Not only does McKesson have a significant presence here, the Commonwealth is one of the company’s largest employee bases in the U.S. It is gratifying to see this continued growth in Virginia due to the pro-business climate and success McKesson has experienced. We value the company’s strong corporate partnership and ongoing investment in the Commonwealth.”

“McKesson Corporation’s significant investment and creation of 205 new jobs will enrich the Frederick County community and region,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The company continues to choose Virginia, as the Commonwealth provides convenient access to its East Coast customer base due to our strategic location and solid transportation infrastructure. I am confident that McKesson will experience the same growth and success with its third operation in Frederick County.”

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. McKesson’s Medical-Surgical business unit, which is locating its facility in Frederick County, delivers a comprehensive offering of more than 150,000 healthcare products, equipment and technology solutions to physician offices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, home medical equipment suppliers and home care agencies. McKesson partners with more than 300,000 customers to provide them with solutions and supplies with a primary goal of helping to improve the health of their business, allowing them to focus on what matters most: delivering quality care for patients.

“We’re pleased to expand our operations in Virginia, the home of our Medical-Surgical business headquarters,” said Stanton McComb, President, McKesson Medical-Surgical. “It’s another great opportunity to match the strength of Virginia’s infrastructure and labor force with our strong growth.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Frederick County and the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Frederick County with the project. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment, training and retraining activities.

“We are pleased to welcome another Fortune 500 company, McKesson Corporation, to Frederick County,” said Richard Shickle, Chairman of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors. “McKesson’s significant investment is indicative of the pro-business climate in Frederick County and Frederick County’s strategic location.”

Lady Eagle Digs Deep to Play at High Point

Courtney Butterfass in High Point game against Elon. Photo credit Phill Butterfass

Clarke County soccer teams have grown to represent a powerful force in the Bull Run District and beyond. Both boys and girls teams consistently make it to post season action and last season the Lady Eagles made it all the way to the state semifinals. However, when our finest leave Clarke County they find themselves competing against student athletes from much larger schools. While that challenge can often mean the end of a student’s school soccer career, other times it forces exceptional athletes to step-up their game and rise to the occasion.

Such was the case with local midfielder, Courtney Butterfass.

Courtney graduated from Clarke County High School last year after amassing three varsity letters, three All-District,  two All-Region and two All-State selections. She was also named to the All-Area team as a senior on the the Clarke County team that advanced to the state semi-finals.

Courtney elected to attend High Point University in North Carolina and planned to major in Pharmacy. As the new school year approached Courtney felt the draw of soccer and was compelled to try out for the High Point team during the summer.  Courtney went to the last summer camp and was evaluated during the camp.  Coach Marty Beall explained that there were already 32 girls on the roster, but he would like her to be on the team as well.  The coach provided Courtney with a training booklet for running and ball skills that she would be expected to perform. With only 5 weeks between being accepted to the team and the first day of training, Courtney gave it all she had.  Due to the excessive heat this past summer, Courtney and her mom were up at 6am every morning traveling to Handley High school  to use the turf football field for the running drills.  After dinner, the family would go over to the Clarke County recreation center to work on ball skills training.  It was truly a family affair.

It paid off,  Courtney was excited to be selected as a member of a Division 1 NCAA soccer team and was one of only 9 teammates to pass all the running tests on the first try.

Courtney knew that she would have limited playing time going into her first year, but has already amassed 96 minutes of playing time in the first 11 games of the season.

Courtney is the daughter of Berryville residents Philip and Carlene Butterfass.

Join the Clarke County Community Choir

Dr. Ryan Keebaugh, the Director of the Clarke County High School choirs, will be leading this new choir for singers who are alumni or members of the Clarke County community. Show up at this first meeting and lend your voice to the success of this group!

CCHS Choir – Photo Pam Lettie

Location: Johnson-Williams Middle School Choir Room

Date: Sunday 9/30 and following Sundays

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact Info:

Website: On Facebook: Clarke County Community Choir 

Obituary for Jean F. Drescher

Jean Florence Drescher, 95, of Berryville, Virginia, died Friday, September 21, 2012 in a local nursing home.

Mrs. Drescher was born July 10, 1917 in Darien Center, New York, the daughter of Charles V. and Edith Meyer Ortner.

She was a homemaker and a member of St. Bridget’s Church and Women’s Group.

She married Joseph E. Drescher in June 1941 in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Drescher died December 30, 2003.

Surviving are two daughters, Jean Malucci of Berryville, VA and Elizabeth A. Drescher of New Orleans, LA; four sons, Joseph Drescher, Jr. of San Francisco, CA, Michael Drescher of Edmonds, WA, William P. Drescher of Elizabeth City, NC and John P. Drescher of Key West, FL; eight grandchildren; and eleven great grandchildren. Mrs. Drescher was the last surviving member of her immediate family.

Two sisters, Edith Drilling and Mary Grace Ortner and a brother, Rev. Paul Ortner SSJ preceded her in death.

A memorial service will be held 1:00 P. M. Saturday, October 6, 2012 at St. Bridget’s Chapel in the Field, Berryville, VA with Rev. Stanley J. Krempa officiating. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Winchester, VA.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 – 1:00 P. M. prior to the service at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Bridget’s Chapel in the Field Building Fund, 130 Keating Dr., Winchester, VA 22601.

To view the obituary and sign the guest book, please visit