Politics/Government

County hires assistant administrator

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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Governor announces $2 million Copper Fox Distillery in Williamsburg

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announces the Williamsburg distillery project; Copper Fox's Rick Wasmund is at left.

As part of a $2 million partnership with the state and city, Sperryville's Copper Fox Distillery will open its second malting, production, aging and tasting facility in the city of Williamsburg.
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What’s all the digging?

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Dec. 18
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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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There may be room at the Inn for a post office

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Dec. 11

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

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Dec. 11

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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Democracy award to Rappahannock’s own Ben Goddard

Ben Goddard is presented with the IAPC Democracy Medal by Ilkka Ahtokivi, president of IAPC, last month in Rome, Italy.

It was a career highlight for Rappahannock County resident Ben Goddard when he was awarded the prestigious Democracy Medal by the International Association of Political Consultants last month.
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The Rapp column for Dec. 11

Old Rag Master Naturalists inspect the terrain on a geology field trip at Stony Man lookout in Shenandoah National Park.

Holiday concerts, local arts grants, a Constitutional advocate at Gray Ghost, a run/walk fundraiser for the “Shop with a Deputy” program, holiday-related art workshops and more in this week’s The Rapp.
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The multifamily issue: postponed

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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Sperryville to be a two-brewery town

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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Washington Post Office loses its lease

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Dec. 4

The Washington Post Office is losing its lease on Main Street; both the lessee and lessor say it wasn't their idea.
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Letter: Cell phones and lifelines

The fuss over views and possible health hazards of cell towers seems small and petty when the power is out, the phones are dead and your house is on fire — no phone, no power, zero temperatures. (The view is very grim.) A short time ago, a man working with a bladed weed whacker...
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Editorial: A modest proposal

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Dec. 4
Photo by Pam Owen

Last week’s Thanksgiving editorial touched on some of the countless things for which we here in Rappahannock County should be thankful. But perhaps that for which we should be most thankful are the very things we do not have.
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Elder financial abuse a growing problem

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Nov. 27
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With the high incidence of financial scams directed at senior citizens in the region, Aging Together in Rappahannock held a roundtable discussion recently to discuss elder financial abuse.
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Supervisors will decide if housing project goes  forward

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Nov. 27
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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Local budget back on track, board hears  

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Nov. 20
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In a budget work session Monday afternoon, the supervisors learn that the fiscal year 2014-2015 budget is back on track — at least for now — due to sheriff's office changes, but could still suffer from budget-based caution in Richmond.
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Today’s topic: ‘Affordable Rappahannock’  

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Nov. 20

The issue of whether Rappahannock County needs affordable housing was debated at this week’s when the county’s board of supervisors considered a special-use permit application to build apartments on the former Sperryville Emporium site.
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Planners delay affordable housing permit

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Nov. 20
A People Inc. spokesman describes the community action organization's Sperryville project Wednesday night.

People Inc.’s application to build a 28-unit affordable housing complex at the site of the vacant Sperryville Emporium was tabled until January by the Rappahannock County Planning Commission Wednesday night.
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Affordable apartments at former Emporium site?

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Nov. 13
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County supervisors and planners are heading into the holidays with their plates already full, with decisions about a proposed apartment at the former Sperryville Emporium site, the sheriff’s budget and a proposed new brewery.
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Town council approves White Moose permit extension

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Nov. 13
Manager of the White Moose Inn can continue to live up the block.

The Washington Town Council approved everything on its agenda, including a special-use permit allowing the White Moose Inn’s manager to live off-site, and also passed a resolution to open up nominations to fill former council member Dan Spethmann’s seat.
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Culpeper officer running for sheriff

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Nov. 13
Anthony E. “Andy” Berry

Culpeper police Sgt. Anthony E. “Andy” Berry isn’t waiting until the last minute this time to throw his hat in the ring to become Rappahannock County’s next sheriff as he did in 2011.
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Letter: Why Rappahannock rocks (and rolls)

Election Day is always a long one for poll workers, from 5 in the morning until 9:30 or 10 at night. Our chores were made a little easier at the Sperryville fire hall last week when Margaret Rogers, proprietor of Central Coffee Roasters, arrived with canisters of hot and delicious coffee. Thank you, Maggie!...
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Letter: But who ratified the Constitution?  

I enjoyed your long article of Oct. 30 about the James Madison vs. James Monroe election for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 1789. However, the author of the article is in error in twice stating that in Virginia the United States Constitution was ratified in 1788 by the Virginia...
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Letter: Big changes, hardly addressed 

Thank you, Rappahannock News, for recently publishing a letter from John Sullivan, mayor of Washington, defending his town’s status given the dwindling population and ongoing business preferences. I wish he had granted you access for an actual article, as he afforded The Washington Post, one that might have posed serious questions and received honest answers...
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Spethmann resigns council post

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Washington Town Council member Daniel Spethmann resigned this week by letter to Mayor John Sullivan and the rest of the council, a letter in which he said his business has recently required him to spend “more time away than in town.”
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Rappublican county

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Nov. 6
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How Rappahannock County voted in the Nov. 4 election.
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Jed’s Eye View: Six million people 

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Nov. 6

Six million people — Jed Duvall says that's the number of people in the United States that we should be thinking and talking about more often.
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The most important election . . . that no one knows about

The Hebron Lutheran Church, still standing in Madison County, served as the background for one of the most important (and largely forgotten) elections in American history.

Stiles, for the convenience of churchgoers who arrived by horse or carriage, still stand outside the Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison County, which played a part in one of the most important elections in American history.
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Election Day is Tuesday

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Oct. 30
Michael Brown of Washington says his name and address aloud for poll workers Jay Brown and Ellen Mustoe at the Washington fire hall Tuesday morning. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck.

Rappahannock County voters cast ballots next Tuesday (Nov. 4) in three races — for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat, for the Fifth District’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and for the county treasurer’s post. There is also a constitutional amendment referendum.
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Letter: Elect Gillespie, release the Senate’s chokehold

Americans have been battling back from the recession only to see an underwhelming rate of economic recovery. Businesses and workers labor each day to rebuild our nation’s economy; however, little help has come from Washington. This November, I ask you to consider the message Virginians can send to Washington. Virginians are tired of “business...
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Letter: ‘I believe Mr. Nicklin has missed the point’

Publisher Walter Nicklin says, “there’s been a lot of vocal criticism about the governance of the county seat . . .” and “no serious effort to present alternate town council candidates.” I believe that Mr. Nicklin has missed the point entirely regarding the government of the county...
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Letter: Why Sen. Mark Warner is your man

On election day, the voters of Rappahannock should not hesitate in sending Mark Warner back to the United States Senate for a second term, because you don’t fire a guy who is willing to do the heavy lifting. By heavy lifting, I mean a senator who is willing to roll up his sleeves and...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Act local

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Oct. 30

Readers of this column know that I do not often write about political issues. Those same readers would be mistaken, however, if they thought that this results from my lack of conviction or opinion about the political world that buffets our every breath, from the courthouse in Washington, Va., to what passes for a central government...
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Hurt: Private sector jobs are Job No. 1

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Oct. 23
Rep. Robert Hurt (R-5th)

Jobs: That’s the No. 1 issue Republican Rep. Robert Hurt says he is hearing about from constituents across Virginia’s vast North Carolina-to-Northern Virginia 5th District. A Q&A with the congressman who is campaigning for a third term.
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Editorial: That scary time of the year

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Oct. 23
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There’s plenty to worry about these days, but one truly scary discovery went largely under-reported and unremarked-upon — because, as an an abstraction, it doesn’t trigger the primitive fight-or-flight response: This past September was, on average, the hottest September on record for planet Earth.
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Letter: Veterans’ survivors a national obligation

This is an “off-year” election. That doesn’t make it unimportant! Think before you vote. Our state delegate, Michael Webert, is supporting an amendment to our state constitution. The issue will be on the ballot Nov. 4 as a referendum. The question: Shall Section 6-A of Article X (Taxation and Finance) of the Constitution of...
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County revisits, sheriff defends budget

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Near the end of last week’s monthly supervisors session, County Administrator John McCarthy had asked Sheriff Connie C. Smith to be present for a follow-up discussion of the sheriff’s office budget after the RSW Regional Jail had been open for three or four months.
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Letter: Pitting neighbors against each other

Mayor John Fox Sullivan’s cackling defense and characterization of folks who dare to speak in opposition to him and the town council reminds me of the sentiments expressed by some local elected officials from a bygone era. In the 1960s, small town mayors and sheriffs across the South railed against the influx of “outsiders” —...
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When a farm turns factory, what’s a town to do?

A Pennsylvania law designed to protect farms from nuisance complaints has also allowed concentrated animal feeding operations — factory farms — to escape local land use controls, writes Tim Rowland.
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Town’s route explained; county chooses bypass

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Though listed as an “informational” item, no one really expected the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors to take any official action on recent challenges to the town of Washington’s right to govern itself. And it didn’t — though it did express doubt that it ever would.
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Pond news is good news

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After a brief discussion of recent challenges to the town’s charter and government the Washington Town Council listened at its monthly meeting Monday night to an update on the Avon Hall pond by RappFLOW founder Beverly Hunter and others who’ve helped with recent efforts to clean it up.
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