Roger Piantadosi

Roger Piantadosi, editor and web director of the Rappahannock News since 2010, was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years before retiring (or so he thought) in 2008. He and his wife, Charmaine Lee, have lived near Washington, Va., full-time since 1999.

Viewtown couple awaits word on family in Nepal

3 p.m. April 30
On a visit to the Nepalese village of Kalche several years ago, Surja Tamang and wife Medge Carter flank Surja’s mother, Ama.

Viewtown residents Surja Tamang and Medge Carter were still waiting Wednesday for a definitive word from Surja’s elderly parents and other family in Nepal after Saturday’s devastating earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal.
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Konick: No vendetta, just violations

3 p.m. April 23

In a response to the Inn at Little Washington and owner Patrick O’Connell’s attempt the week before to quash attorney David Konick’s lawsuit, Konick said this week that the Inn's claims about his motivations for bringing suit are “absolutely false.”
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Letter: The first Film Festival’s closing credits

12:43 p.m. April 23

There’s a saying that making something look effortless requires a lot of effort. It was the herculean effort of a small team of dedicated volunteers which culminated in an amazingly successful weekend of film and fun at RAAC’s first annual Film Festival at Little Washington. In recognizing these volunteers, we start with our three talented...
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Cooter’s scraps outdoor-music plan

12:15 p.m. April 23
Plenty of Generals Lee showed up for a 2006 "Dukes Fest" at Cooter's Place in Sperryville.

After a lengthy stretch of questions and concern from commissioners, and a neighboring property owner’s worries about noise and traffic, Ben “Cooter” Jones and Alma Viator withdrew the application they’d made to the county planning commission for a special-exception permit.
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Rapp, Culpeper go metro

noon April 23

The federal Office of Management and Budget added Rappahannock and Culpeper counties earlier this month to the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria statistical metropolitan area (SMA). What does it mean?
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Wednesday’s night developments

3:53 p.m. April 16

Washington's town council approves an Inn-related property adjustment that will bring a new gallery to town, and Cooter's in the Country withdraws its permit application for outdoor music in Sperryville.
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Draft county budget would mean 2-cent tax hike

3 p.m. April 16

The $22.83 million FY 2016 draft budget released this week by Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy could mean a 2-cent increase in the county’s property tax rate.
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Town council hires lawyer, hears opinions, legal and otherwise

2:45 p.m. April 16

The Washington Town Council hired a lawyer at a special meeting Monday afternoon, heard almost two hours of legal opinion in closed session about two pending lawsuits against the town and the Inn at Little Washington, then reconvened for another hour of citizen opinion on a controversial Inn-related boundary adjustment.
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School year calendar adopted

2:30 p.m. April 16

The school board adopted a 2015-2016 calendar that adds two days to spring break, allows for nine snow days and starts classes on Tuesday, Aug. 11.
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What’s recyclable in Rappahannock?

12:15 p.m. April 16
Tom Morris via Wikimedia Commons

A wrap-up of what you can now recycle at Rappahannock County recycling centers at Amissville and Flatwood.
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Lawsuit is ‘homophobe’ vendetta, Inn attorney says

3:55 p.m. April 9

Inn at Little Washington's attorney characterizes lawsuit initiator Konick as a "homophobe with a vendetta" against O'Connell; meanwhile Konick files another suit, specifically alleging conflict-of-interest violations by O'Connell.
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Fire-rescue changes needed to keep volunteer system viable

1 p.m. April 9

Rappahannock County’s supervisors were told by the consultants who assessed the county’s fire and rescue needs that the county faces a lengthy list of potentially difficult decisions to keep the all-volunteer system viable — as well as all-volunteer.
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Roadwork alerts

11:45 a.m. April 9

Several VDOT and other projects might impact your travel in Rappahannock County this week and in the weeks to come.
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Swindler: A tough choice for his next team  

1 p.m. April 2
Outgoing athletic director Jimmy Swindler pauses for a photo before a soccer match at Panther Stadium Monday afternoon.

Jimmy Swindler, RCPS athletics (and facilities) director for the past four years, says his most recent roster decision — on his own position with the team — was his most difficult.
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Retirement rumors premature, McCarthy says

12:15 p.m. April 2
Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy says he's not retiring — yet.

John McCarthy, Rappahannock County’s chief executive for the last 30 years, said this week that rumors of his impending retirement are premature.
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Herring told mental health, drugs top police concerns

noon April 2
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks with the region’s law enforcement officers Monday in Front Royal.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring heard from law enforcement officials in the region Monday in Front Royal that one of their biggest worries — in addition to drugs — is in dealing effectively with prisoners who require mental-health evaluations and treatment.
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Council meets to hire counsel

11 a.m. April 2

The Washington Town Council has scheduled a special meeting, ostensibly to hire a lawyer to defend the town in a lawsuit alleging the town broke laws for its 2013 town-square beautification project.
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A helping hand for the Next Step  

8 a.m. April 2
Courtesy photo

Kathryn Habib, director of Headwaters Foundation’s Next Step program, accepts a recent donation from former longtime Rappahannock resident (and schools supporter) Robert Darby.
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Town beautification gets uglier

3 p.m. March 26
A photo in the Dec. 13, 1962 Rappahannock News touted the “facelift” being given to the corner of Main and Middle streets, after Trinity Episcopal Church (far left) had purchased the lot and was tearing down several buildings to build a parking lot.

Efforts made two years ago to beautify the “town square” of Washington have landed the town, and its chief tourist attraction, in court. A lawsuit filed Friday also alleges that Inn at Little Washington owner and town council member Patrick O'Connell violated conflict-of-interest laws.
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Planners OK Castleton’s year-round events

2:30 p.m. March 26

The Rappahannock County Planning Commission recommended approval last Wednesday night of two event-related permits for the Castleton Festival.
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Scammers hit local victim, are (mostly) foiled

1:45 p.m. March 26
By Donovan Graen via Flickr

A Woodville resident came forward this week to say she was conned earlier this month out of a large sum of money by the operators of a telephone scam in which callers posed as agents of the IRS and Treasury Department.
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Stickers, no. Assessors, yes.

noon March 26

Two quick reminders from your county government: You don't need a vehicle sticker any more, and assessors will be visiting your property soon.
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Hillsdale clerk charged with lottery tampering

11 a.m. March 26

Authorities arrested Shamaila Tanweer, 30, of Culpeper, described by police as a member of the family that operates the Hillsdale Country Store on U.S. 211 near Washington. She is charged with lottery tampering, a felony.
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$12.56 school budget sent to supervisors

2:15 p.m. March 19

The Rappahannock County School Board adopted a $12.56 million 2015-2016 budget Monday night that would increase the county’s share of school-division expenses by about $94,000 — or just over 1 percent.
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More early election notes

10:45 a.m. March 19
Amy Hitt

One of three candidates for the Hampton district seat on the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors has changed her mind this week, and another school board member announced her intention to seek reelection Nov. 3. Alma Viator of Harris Hollow, in a email this week, said “. . . to do the supervisor’s job...
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Town complies with FOIA request

9 a.m. March 19

The lawyer and self-described watchdog who’s been pursuing a Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) request from the town of Washington said this week the town has complied, or is in the process of complying, with all his requests.
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Happy fishing

8:54 a.m. March 13
By Roger Piantadosi/Rappahannock News

Lewis Foster of Flint Hill shows off a big one that didn’t get away — the  6½-pound trout he caught in Front Royal’s Happy Creek last Sunday.
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Town will take ‘second look’ at its beautification-project actions

2 p.m. March 12

Washington Mayor John Sullivan says that the town council will take a second look at the measures it adopted in 2013's town-center beautification partnership with Trinity Church and the Inn. Meanwhile lawyer David Konick is filing a petition in circuit court to force the town to release related emails.
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Former fire chief jailed on sexual abuse charge

1:36 p.m. March 12

The 29-year-old Flint Hill resident who last year was chief of the Flint Hill fire department remains in RSW Jail without bond, charged with sexually abusing a juvenile and abduction with intent to defile, and the driver who caused and fled a four-car crash in Woodville last October pleads guilty.
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I-66 east reopened

10:45 a.m. March 6

The tractor-trailer crash that closed Interstate 66 eastbound at mile marker 38 has been cleared, VDOT reported 10:45 a.m.
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Lee won’t seek Hampton supervisor seat

1:25 p.m. March 5
Hampton supervisor Bryant Lee, right, and school board chair John Lesinski, Lee’s choice his successor, shake hands at the courthouse last Friday.

Longtime Hampton district representative Bryant Lee says he will not be seeking a fifth term on Rappahannock County’s board of supervisors come November, and endorses one of the three candidates who say they're running for the post.
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Supervisors simplify motor vehicle tax  

1:24 p.m. March 5

At a relatively brief end-of-winter, pre-budget-season meeting, the supervisors agreed to the county administrator’s request that the new motor vehicle tax be applied consistently to all types of vehicles.
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Rappahannock News signs coverage, content agreement with new nonprofit

noon March 5
Foothills Forum

As part of an ongoing effort to improve coverage of Rappahannock County’s most pressing issues and important stories, the Rappahannock News has signed an agreement with Foothills Forum, a  newly organized nonprofit whose mission encompasses such improved local coverage.
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DWI charges bring guilty pleas

9 a.m. March 5

In Rappahannock County District Court this week, several drivers accused of drunk driving pleaded guilty and were sentenced by Judge J. Gregory Ashwell.
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Transparency, legality of town ‘beautification’ questioned

3 p.m. Feb. 26
An artist's rendering of what the new Trinity Church parking lot will look like when refinished.

Several critics of the town of Washington say the town’s council broke at least one state law in the summer of 2013 when it voted to contribute $20,000 to a effort by the Inn at Little Washington to improve the Trinity Episcopal Church parking lot.
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Almost all-in-one

9:59 a.m. Feb. 26
By Roger Piantadosi/Rappahannock News

Rappahannock County’s recycling centers, at the Amissville landfill and (shown here) at Flatwood, are already accepting contributions — in a single container — of glass, metal/cans and plastics #1 through #7.
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Storm-free budget season ahead?

2 p.m. Feb. 19

Following two consecutive years of 4-cent increases in Rappahannock County’s property tax rate, early signs point to an annual local-government budget season this spring that might offer taxpayers a break from bad news.
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Draft school budget starts by holding the line

12:55 p.m. Feb. 19

Although school board members spent some time afterwards discussing adding more than $100,000 for athletics-related positions, superintendent Donna Matthews presented a draft 2015-2016 budget last Thursday (Feb. 12) at the high school that would increase last year’s $9.09 million county-funding tab by just $27,700.
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Jail term for DUI, leaving the scene

11 a.m. Feb. 19

A sentence for DUI, and arrests for assault, burglary and grand larceny in Rappahannock County.
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VDOT readies for winter storm Monday

8:42 p.m. Feb. 15

The Virginia Department of Transportation is preparing for the season’s heaviest snow so far, which is forecast to reach central Virginia by early afternoon Monday. As much as ten inches of accumulation is expected in the Culpeper District, which includes the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock. VDOT...
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