Washington column for May 2

New deputy clerk in the Courthouse

The General District, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Office has a new deputy clerk — Lauren Bustle, 27, of Castleton.

Lauren began working with the courts in 2013, starting with Stafford County Juvenile and Domestic Relations, and in 2015 she began employment with Prince William Juvenile and Domestic Relations. In 2018 she transferred to Fauquier Juvenile & Domestic Relations — each transfer trying to get closer and closer to home and family.

Lauren Bustle the new Deputy Clerk for the General District, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Office Courtesy Photo

While working in Fauquier she had the opportunity to help Rappahannock Courts.

“When the deputy clerk position came open I decided with my husband that I would apply, as I had loved working with Donna and Diane in the previous months and I thought that we made a great team.”

Lauren loves the small dynamic and one-on-one she experience with each person she assists. “Most of all that I was closer to home and in the county, my husband and I are raising our children.

“Being in the county they will grow up in and go to school in, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Her husband, Nicholas Bustle, and two sons Jaxon, 20 months, and Easton, 4 months, moved to Castleton in 2017 after renting for a few years in The Plains. Her husband is from Fairfax, and Lauren is from Reva.

“When we found our home in Castleton, expecting my first son, Jaxon, we knew it was the perfect home to start our family in. As well as a great place for our two chocolate labs, Rex and Hunter.”

Outside of work she enjoys spending time at their family vacation spot on the Potomac River, “fishing, hunting and cooking,” said Lauren, who started her new job on Monday, March 11.

I had the pleasure of talking to Donna Foster, the clerk, who said nothing but good things about Lauren. She was pleased to have her on board and added that she was doing a great job.

Lauren you are working with the best, Diana Moore and Donna Foster, who will be the sunshine for the day for you.

Be sure to stop by and welcome her to our town.

Rappahannock River professor

From Chester Gap to the Chesapeake Bay, the River’s History, Natural History, and Contemporary Appreciation with Walter Nicklin. As in a RappU course title.

The former publisher of the Rappahannock News and Piedmont Virginian magazine, Walter Nicklin grew up canoeing the upper Rappahannock. His stepfather, the conservationist Randy Carter, wrote the very first river guide.

Over the years, Walter has traveled the river from its headwaters to its mouth and written many essays based on his Rappahannock experiences. For the nonprofit “Friends of the Rappahannock” (based in Fredericksburg), he produced a booklet about the river — copies of which will be given to his class participants, as well as copies of his book of collected essays.

Walter will hold four sessions, the course focusing on the Rappahannock River. His first class was held this past Saturday at RappU, which is located at the Sperryville Schoolhouse. His talk was on Geological origins and geography created by the river, divided into the Piedmont and Tidewater. Flora and Fauna.

The second class will be May 11 on Early Settlement and commerce defined by the river and its tributaries (Hazel, Hughes, Thornton, etc.), including the canal from Fredericksburg to Waterloo Landing; third class on today’s river, its natural delights and recreational opportunities — and environmental threats, from agricultural runoff to the Army Corps of Engineers; and fourth class a canoe/kayak float down the river.


I was saddened to learn that a dear friend of mine, Lois Alther’s husband, William Henry “Joe” Alther, passed away on Wednesday, April 24, at his home.

He was a tree surgeon for many years, who loved fishing and gardening.

Lois and I worked together at the Aileen factory years back. Lois, God’s garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best. He knew that your husband was in pain, and he knew that he would never get well on this earth again. He saw the road was getting rough, and the hills were hard to climb, so he closed Joe’s weary eyelids, and whispered peace be thine.

Joe leaves behind two beautiful daughters, Connie Burke of Rixeyville, and Tracy Woodward of Castleton; one brother, Floyd Alther of Luray; five grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday in Culpeper with Rev. John Burke officiating. Interment followed in Hillcrest Memory Gardens.

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