Roger Piantadosi

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.


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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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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School budget tonight — but first, some appreciation

1:06 p.m. Feb. 12

The school board — which holds its first public hearing on its 2015-2016 budget Thursday, Feb. 12 in the high school auditorium — took a few lighthearted moments between controversy and budget-crunching at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night to appreciate its staff (and be appreciated in return).
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New home, new gallery, familiar names on town’s agenda

1:06 p.m. Feb. 12

The Washington Town Council took the first steps at its monthly meeting Monday night (Feb. 9) toward bringing a new weekend home and a new gallery to Gay Street.
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Letter: Thanks to all for your winter Waikiki-themed benevolence

10:20 a.m. Feb. 12

I wish to extend thanks to the many people who made this year’s Rappahannock Benevolent Fund dinner a great success, closing in on raising $40,000: First to the owners of the Washington School building, John Sullivan and Bill Walton, for making it available; to Dee Vest, Bev Atkins, Bette Mahoney and the other wonderful...
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2015: A ‘big’ local election year

2:30 p.m. Feb. 5
election-5

More than a dozen government posts in Rappahannock County — from sheriff to supervisors, school board members and soil conservation directors — are up for grabs this fall.
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Stickers gone; flat-rate vehicle tax is back

2 p.m. Feb. 5
supervisorsSticker-5

Many tax-related issues across the land will no doubt continue to grow more complex in the years to come — but in Rappahannock County this fall, a simple line item for a flat-rate county motor vehicle tax will reappear on most everyone’s tax bills.
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Planners make mandated zoning adjustments

10:56 a.m. Jan. 29

The Rappahannock County Planning Commission reorganized last week, then voted to reorganize several dozen pages of zoning code amendments.
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Single-stream recycling starts soon

1:30 p.m. Jan. 22
Recycled cans, by Tom Morris via Wikimedia Commons

If the weather cooperates, Rappahannock County should be offering single-stream recycling — glass, metal, plastic and office paper in one container — by sometime next month.
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The county in court

12:45 p.m. Jan. 22

The county government — or, more specifically, attorneys for the school board and supervisors whose fees are paid by government liability insurance policies — has been spending more than the usual amount of time in circuit court these last few past months.
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School board declines cell tower lease

1:30 p.m. Jan. 15
Detail from an AT&T mockup, based on a balloon test, of what the planned Boston tower would look like from 400 feet away.

By a vote of 3-2, the Rappahannock County School Board Tuesday night (Jan. 13) voted against entering a controversial lease agreement with Community Wireless Structures (CWS), the Arlington company which had offered to construct a monopole for prospective mobile carriers on high school property.
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Town attends to planning, plant

1 p.m. Jan. 15

The Washington Town Council filled a planning commission seat and decided to monitor what's going into the wastewater plant from a dozen non-residential buildings around town.
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School board declines cell tower lease

10:46 p.m. Jan. 13
Detail from an AT&T mockup, based on a balloon test, of what the planned Boston tower would look like from 400 feet away.

Rappahannock County School Board votes against entering a controversial lease agreement with Community Wireless Structures, the Arlington company which had offered to construct a monopole for prospective mobile carriers on high school property.
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Late Sunday, early Monday roads could be icy

5:28 p.m. Jan. 11
Ice in Gid Brown Hollow after this week's storm.

With freezing rain forecast for this evening and early Monday, the Virginia Department of Transportation is preparing its equipment and materials and asks the public to closely monitor road conditions before traveling.
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School Board pressed on cell details

1:01 p.m. Jan. 8
VFOIA-8W

A Sperryville resident files a civil action (to be heard Jan. 12) to force the county school board to respond to a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request for all its cell tower-related communications. Update: The school board asks for 7 more days and $400.
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Some snow, some salt, more brine

11:45 a.m. Jan. 8
courtesy photo

Rappahannock's supervisors are told that VDOT studied the alternatives to rock salt — as a resolution passed by the supervisors in April had requested — but that no major change to snow and ice removal policies is planned.
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Appointments and transitions

11:15 a.m. Jan. 8

David Konick appointed to BZA, retiring Weinbergs (both former BZA chair Robert and longtime Theatre owner Wendy) and RRCSB representative Sandra Maskas honored by board of supervisors.
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Washingtonian: Just being ‘honest’

11:51 a.m. Jan. 7
An illuminated Inn at Little Washington brightened the night.

Washingtonian restaurant critic Todd Kliman posted a take-no-prisoners response today on the magazine's blog to Inn at Little Washington chef Patrick O'Connell's statement last week implying the magazine was seeking attention rather than being ethical when it dropped The Inn from No. 1 to No. 22 on its annual top-100 "Very Best Restaurants"...
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Slow down!

8:19 a.m. Jan. 6
Driving in snow in Rappahannock, 6:30 a.m. Jan. 6, 2015.

VDOT's reporting slippery conditions on I-66 and other primary and secondary highways in Fauquier and Rappahannock counties this morning, and drivers in Rappahannock and elsewhere apparently aren't paying attention.
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The Rapp for Jan. 1

10:15 a.m. Jan. 1
The cast and director of RAAC's "Wizard of Oz" production take their bows.

Washingtonian bites The Inn, plus a “100 Foot Journey,” a wonderful “Wizard of Oz,” beekeeping classes, RAAC’s spring film festival and more in this week’s The Rapp.
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County hires assistant administrator

9:50 a.m. Jan. 1
Debbie Keyser in 2012, when she was appointed  Jefferson County, W. Va. county administrator.

Rappahannock County has hired Debbie Keyser as assistant county administrator.
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Reminder: No paper this week (Dec. 25)

9:16 p.m. Dec. 24, 2014

Important news: Rappahannock News will not be published on Thursday, Dec. 25.
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What’s all the digging?

12:27 p.m. Dec. 18, 2014
digBox-18

Projects underway in Rappahannock County will bring about single-container recycling next month, and possible higher-speed mobile broadband at some future date.
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Driver crashes into house after midmorning chase

11:30 a.m. Dec. 18, 2014
Courtesy photo

Police chased a man in a pickup truck this morning from Flint Hill into the center of the county's commercial area, where the driver veered across the median, crossed two more lanes and continued across a lawn and straight into a house.
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Town council adds Aichele

11:20 a.m. Dec. 18, 2014
The Washington Town Council appointed Gay Street Inn co-owner Gary Aichele to fill the seat left vacant by Dan Spethmann’s resignation in early November.

The Washington Town Council appointed Gay Street Inn co-owner Gary Aichele to fill the seat left vacant by Dan Spethmann’s resignation in early November.
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Zoning board approves B&B, tourist homes

11:10 a.m. Dec. 18, 2014

At its Dec. 4 meeting, the Rappahannock County Board of Zoning Appeals approved special-use permits for two tourist homes, a B&B and a mental-health professional office and tabled a variance request.
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There may be room at the Inn for a post office

1:01 p.m. Dec. 11, 2014

Negotiations between the U.S. Postal Service and The Inn at Little Washington are reported to be focused on keeping the post office in the same building at Main and Middle streets that the Inn has leased to the postal facility for more than 25 years.
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Football praised, cell tower decried, board delays deciding

1 p.m. Dec. 11, 2014

Rappahannock County Public Schools got an excellent turnout for football Tuesday night — which delayed an excellent turnout for (or actually, against) cell towers on school property.
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Blue Rock restaurant will close

noon Dec. 11, 2014
The back patio at the Blue Rock Inn still has one of the best westward views in the county.

The Blue Rock Inn is closing down its restaurant on Dec. 28 but will keep open its five-room B&B and its wedding-and-event trade, although the whole property has been for sale since last summer.
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Guilty pleas, DUIs, drug charges

10:30 a.m. Dec. 11, 2014

In a case in which the defendant was accused of filing a false insurance claim with the Virginia Farm Bureau for a zero-turn mower he never owned, Delmas Dean Dotson, 48, of Huntly, pleaded guilty in Rappahannock County Circuit Court to three felonies last Thursday (Dec. 4): forgery of a public office seal, impersonating...
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The multifamily issue: postponed

1 p.m. Dec. 4, 2014
A People Inc. spokesman describes the community action organization's Sperryville project Wednesday night.

The supervisors remove a zoning amendment that would have allowed People Inc. to proceed with its affordable housing proposal in Sperryville, passing the issue to the planning commission.
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Citizen Jenks

11:50 a.m. Dec. 4, 2014
Rev. Jennings W. Hobson III, the 2014 Rappahannock News Citizen of the Year.

Rev. Jennings W. Hobson III has been around Rappahannock County long enough that nothing surprises him, and just about everything delights him, including the fact that Rappahannock News has named him their 2014 Citizen of the Year (for the second time).
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Sperryville to be a two-brewery town

11:01 a.m. Dec. 4, 2014

In the final step of the special-exception permit sought by the Carney brothers to build and open a brewery and brewpub in Sperryville’s River District by next spring, the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the plan.
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For Heimstra, the set’s the thing — or one of many

1 p.m. Nov. 27, 2014
heimstraWide-27

When the cast of RAAC Community Theatre’s holiday production of “The Wizard of Oz” sets off next week for the Emerald City, they’ll be following a yellow brick road made possible by Linda Heimstra — and most of a gallon of yellow latex.
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Crashed-cab driver pleads guilty to eluding

12:45 p.m. Nov. 27, 2014
The cab driven by Allante Strother after it was towed from the accident scene in December 2013.

Last December, 24-year-old Allante Tobias Strother of Culpeper crashed a taxicab after he was chased at high speed by a deputy. This December he'll be in jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to felony eluding of a police officer.
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Not the greatest travel day

12:30 p.m. Nov. 27, 2014
courtesy photo

Along U.S. 522 in Woodville at midday Wednesday, traffic in the wet falling snow is heavier and slower than anyone would like on the day before Thanksgiving.
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Supervisors will decide if housing project goes  forward

12:20 p.m. Nov. 27, 2014
A People Inc. spokesman describes the community action organization's Sperryville project Wednesday night.

As it turns out, allowing apartments in a highway commercial zone — the zone along U.S. 211 west of Sperryville where community-action organization People Inc. has proposed to build a 28-unit affordable housing complex — is in the hands of the county supervisors after all.
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