piantadosi

Roger Piantadosi is the editor of the Rappahannock News. He was an editor, staff writer and information architect at The Washington Post for almost 30 years before retiring (or so he thought) in 2008. He and his wife, Charmaine Lee, have lived in Washington, Va., since 1999.


Photos: Play ball!

Apr. 17, 2014
Photo by Roger Piantadosi

Al Kellert throws out the first pitch at opening day last Saturday morning of the Rappahannock Culpeper Baseball League.
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RCES lockdown turns up nothing, no one

Apr. 10, 2014
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After a school employee reported seeing a “suspicious person” walking behind Rappahannock County Elementary School just before the school day ended Tuesday, the school and sheriff’s office put the school in lockdown mode for most of an hour while deputies searched the grounds.
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2014’s snowfall put a blanket over business

Mar. 27, 2014
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Many retail and visitor-related businesses in Rappahannock County — where business is never anywhere as good in January and February as it is in spring and fall — can’t wait to see the winter of 2014’s record snowfall get into the record books — and off the streets.
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Snow vs. spring

Mar. 20, 2014
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Spring officially arrives today. Not a moment too soon.
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Late snow closes down Rappahannock

Mar. 17, 2014
Pond in Castleton. File photo.

Last night and today's late-winter storm dumped another six- to 10 inches through Rappahannock County and the Piedmont region. Rappahannock's schools, county government and courts are closed today.
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Photo: Crash on Sunday

Mar. 3, 2014
By Roger Piantadosi/Rappahannock News

Crash on U.S. 211 in Washington Sunday.
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Sheriff says FBI investigated, cleared her

Feb. 27, 2014
Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie C. Smith was investigated and cleared by the FBI earlier this year.

Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie C. Smith was the subject of an investigation last fall by the FBI, the sheriff confirmed this week.
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County chooses Knick to head treasurer’s office

Feb. 20, 2014
Debbie Knick will start March 3 as Rappahannock County’s deputy treasurer and take over as treasurer in May.

Debbie Knick, director of finance at Randolph-Macon Academy and a lifelong resident of Harris Hollow who’s “always been an admirer of the position” of Rappahannock County treasurer, will soon be doing more than admiring the job.
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Your snow-day newspaper

Feb. 13, 2014
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Thursday's print edition delivery could be slowed by the snowstorm. Get the details here.
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Supervisors decline to oppose AG’s actions

Feb. 6, 2014
More than 30 county residents spoke during the one hour and 15 minute public comment period at Monday's board of supervisors meeting.

At Monday’s (Feb. 3) meeting of the county board of supervisors, more than 30 citizens had something to say about whether the board should accept or reject a resolution protesting Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s decision not to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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Two arrests and a spate of thefts

Feb. 6, 2014
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A Culpeper man and Boston woman were charged this week with grand larceny in one of what the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office says has been a recent string of thefts of equipment, tools and other items over the last month.
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The visible benefits of farm and forest

Jan. 30, 2014
Molly M. Peterson, Photographer

Rappahannock County’s implementation of land-use taxation — the now-entrenched but often misunderstood process Virginia legislators came up with in the early ’70s for preserving agricultural land, forests and open space throughout the state — has had its consequences.
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Mental health: Virginia’s urgent priority in 2014

Jan. 9, 2014
Many expect mental health care to be a priority in the upcoming General Assembly session.

Acts of violence by mentally unstable persons continue to make for tragic headlines across the country. And while many expect Richmond’s general assembly to address the matter, improvements are already underway — and making a difference — in Rappahannock.
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Bonfire postponed

Jan. 3, 2014
Last year’s first-ever Washington Christmas Tree Bonfire made for an inviting and warm evening. This year’s is Friday, Jan. 3.

Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue and the town of Washington decided to postpone tonight's Christmas Tree Bonfire for a week — until next Friday, Jan. 10 — due to the forecast for ultra-cold temps and continued gusty winds.
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The year ahead: old bridges, new jail, emergency-response costs

Dec. 26, 2013

Among the issues county officials expect to tackle in 2014 is taking a closer look at the long-term viability and funding of Rappahannock County’s volunteer fire and rescue companies, as well replacing three county bridges and closing the jail.
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A slight adjustment

Dec. 26, 2013
Tom Papke readies for a client at his new office behind the Rappahannock Medical Center.

To help with your goal to keep moving, Tom Papke . . . has moved. Not to worry though — his location may have changed, but his services aren’t going anywhere.
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Brief chase ends in Viewtown wreck

Dec. 19, 2013
The car, driven by Allante Strother, after it was towed away last week.

A Culpeper man remained hospitalized Wednesday with serious injuries sustained when the car he was driving — while trying to elude a deputy — flipped over, hit a tree and slid down an embankment.
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Photo Gallery: Reality show

Dec. 19, 2013
Washington rescue workers stabilize the victim.

A mock fatal car crash, organized by a service-learning student at Rappahannock County High School to demonstrate the consequences of drunk driving, brings the sheriff's office, Washington and Sperryville first-responders and about a hundred students out into the RCHS parking lot — and the chilly light of reality.
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Town tourism revenue on the rise

Dec. 12, 2013

A day after its biggest event of the year was cancelled by Sunday’s snow and freezing rain, the Washington Town Council heard that its meals-and-lodging tax revenues, the town’s most reliable indicator of tourism trade, were heading steadily up.
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The Rapp for Dec. 12

Dec. 12, 2013
A scene from last weekend's (currently sold-out) performance of "Alice in Wonderland."

Ring in the holidays with Ben Jones’ free concert (benefitting the Food Pantry), marvel at the magic of RAAC’s “Alice in Wonderland,” adopt a senior angel and see conservative “founding father” Richard Viguerie speak in this week’s Rapp column.
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Christmas Parade cancelled

Dec. 8, 2013
Jude, with Ronda Gregorio in the saddle, were among the Parade’s costume winners. Photo by Barbara Auchter.

Word this morning: The Christmas in Little Washington parade is cancelled, but other festival activities (artisans markets, performances) are still on.
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Thompsons purchase Tula’s

Dec. 5, 2013
Darla Morres (center) poses with Thornton River Grille chef Tom Nash (left) and owner Andy Thompson at Tula’s Tuesday afternoon after the sale was announced.

The owners of several of Sperryville’s most successful businesses, including Thornton River Grille and the Sperryville Corner Store, have reached an agreement with proprietor Darla Morres to purchase her Tula’s off Main cafe and coffee shop in Washington.
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Our 2013 Citizens of the Year

Nov. 28, 2013
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The 2013 Rappahannock News Citizens of the Year are: Douglas K. Baumgardner of Washington and Lillian Freeman Aylor of Sperryville. Let the parade begin!
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Photos: Turkey troops

Nov. 28, 2013
Among the volunteers who showed up to assemble more than 200 boxes were Union First regional vice president Mike Leake (second from left) and the Rappahannock branch's Kelly Jo Settle (left) and Jason Brady (right) and his daughter Tana.

The Rappahannock Food Pantry set out on its annual mission this past week to provide more than 200 families a turkey dinner and all the fixings this Thanksgiving.
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Avon Hall: a ‘priority’ wrapped in an enigma

Nov. 21, 2013
Avon Hall’s columned front porch and entrance is both elegant and showing signs of wear in a photo taken two weeks ago.

The fate of Avon Hall — or what remains of the vacant, weather-worn former estate of William Carrigan, which has been in the town’s hands since shortly after Carrigan died a decade ago — was much discussed, and hardly decided, Monday night (Nov. 18) by the Washington Town Council.
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With Barnwell, a harmonic convergence comes to town

Nov. 21, 2013
Ysaye Barnwell, left, teaches participants their parts by singing them herself.

If disharmony is killing you, you’ll want to have a session with Dr. Barnwell. Her sessions, called Community Sings, where strangers sing together in six- or seven-part harmonies, are coming to Little Washington next Friday (Nov. 29).
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Business briefs for Nov. 14

Nov. 14, 2013
Saveur photographer Jim Roper gets an angle on the cake frosting process with Katie Long of Luray, who works at Triple Oak Bakery.

Molly Peterson gains a book deal, Triple Oak Bakery is sampled for Saveur magazine, Little Washington Wellness and Spa starts a new outdoor wellness program and the Culpeper Farmer's Coop receives a Tayloe Murphy Resilience Award.
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Photo: Out of the attic

Nov. 14, 2013
The motel, as it appears today.

Earl Johnson of Sperryville turned up this postcard on eBay — an artist’s rendering of the former Black Kettle Motel on Warren Avenue.
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Taxpayers concerned, informed

Oct. 31, 2013

Tom Junk and Roger Cordani, leaders of the ad-hoc Concerned Taxpayers of Rappahannock, convened their own would-be supervisors meeting last Thursday evening at the library.
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County OKs borrowing up to $2 million

Oct. 24, 2013

At an special public session last Friday (Oct. 18), Rappahannock County’s supervisors voted unanimously to authorize doubling the county’s $1 million line of credit to meet this Friday’s payroll and other obligations.
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Rappahannock’s the star of his fracturing fairy tale

Oct. 24, 2013
Meyer talks about “Mother Fracker” in a still from the promotional video made by Rappahannock’s Forrest Marquisee.

Larry “Bud” Meyer spent most of his adult life in journalism, and now that he’s retired, and spending most of his time amid the hills, hollows and hay fields of Rappahannock County, he can finally kick back and relax. And make stuff up.
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County has to borrow to pay its bills

Oct. 10, 2013

A sharply reduced surplus and apparent issues with new accounting software in the treasurer’s office forced County Administrator John McCarthy to ask the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors to approve a measure allowing the county to borrow up to $1 million to pay its bills at its meetings Monday (Oct. 7).
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Wait. Are they making fun of us?

Oct. 3, 2013
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They might be, just a little — but Lee Powell's good-natured look at how folks are weathering the shutdown in "that other Washington" (in this case, he means us) is definitely worth seeing.
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Leaf-season shutdown could hurt economy

Oct. 3, 2013
Shenandoah National Park is closed until further notice.

There are many who live in Rappahannock County who like to boast that “it’s not on the way to anywhere,” but this week, many business owners who depend on visitors are worried about the consequences of a continued closure of the one thing Rappahannock is on the way to: Shenandoah National Park.
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SCBI autumn festival cancelled

Oct. 2, 2013

Due to the federal government shutdown, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's annual autumn festival scheduled for this weekend (Oct. 5-6) has been cancelled.
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Dinner is served

Sep. 26, 2013

Between raising 7-year-old son Finn, and running a B&B and a seasonal bicycling-and-dining tours for most of the last decade, John and Diane MacPherson don’t get out very to dinner very often. Now, however, they have a plan to solve that — by bringing diners to their B&B.
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Grassfed cow, meet cavemen

Sep. 19, 2013
Grassfed cow, meet cavemen

Seems Sperryville's own Mount Vernon Grassfed is on top of a trend, delivering the farm's grass-fed beef and pork products weekly now to the paleo diet crowd at D.C.'s District CrossFit gym.
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Fauquier Hospital merger could benefit county

Sep. 12, 2013
Fauquier Hospital, Warrenton.

Fauquier Hospital’s announcement last week of a signed merger agreement with LifePoint Hospitals is more a sign of the times than a reason to worry that health care for Rappahannock County patients will undergo any drastic changes.
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Rappahannock tourism 2.0

Sep. 5, 2013

Several efforts are underway to increase tourism in Rappahannock County, and decrease the amount of time and effort local visitor-dependent businesses must spend to promote their attractions in the wider world, including a new county tourism website.
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Rep. Hurt: ‘Legislative process is broken’

Aug. 29, 2013
Rep. Robert Hurt (R-5th) and his communications director Caroline Califf during Hurt’s interview with the Rappahannock News on Tuesday. Photo by Amy Fewell.

On a brief stop this week to Rappahannock, Rep. Robert Hurt (R-5th) repeatedly expressed a view shared by many — in Virginia and across the country — who worry that an impasse between the Obama administration and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will lead to a government shutdown Sept. 30.
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