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On Friday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed Executive Order 79, establishing what he called a “new normal.” The new executive order relaxes the state mask mandate. The only remaining mask mandate pertains to K-12 schools, where all students, faculty, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor school settings. Masks can be removed outside if they can maintain at least six feet distance. 

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How are we doing? What do you think of how we cover the news? Join the Rappahannock News staff on Friday, May 28, at 9 a.m. for our monthly meeting with readers and community members. Have questions about our coverage? Have a topic you want to discuss? Tell us in person at Off the Grid and let us know what’s on your mind. Coffee is on us. 

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Flint Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue will host an outdoor movie night on Saturday, May 15 at dusk. Watch the 2019 comedy “Playing With Fire” starring John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key and Judy Greer with your family under the stars! The movie is rated PG. Admission is free and concessions will be available for purchase. 945 Fodderstack Rd., Flint Hill.

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The Castleton Volunteer Fire Company will have house numbers available for purchase at their Open House on Saturday, May 8 from 1-4 p.m. Rappahannock County Seniors get free house numbers. Kids get free fire stickers and hats. Snacks will also be provided. 593 Castleton Ford Rd., Castleton.

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As of this week, T-Mobile is providing cell coverage from the Sperryville Tower, joining Verizon. County Administrator Garrey Curry tells the Rappahannock News that the service is very fast, with possible download speeds of 179 mbps and upload speeds of 31 mbps. 

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The Theatre House at Castleton Farms is opening its doors for the first time in 15 months. Join the Castleton Chamber Players tonight, Thursday April 22 at 7:30 p.m. for a performance of Beethoven’s Horn Sonata, Strauss’ Violin Sonata and a selection of Art Songs. Violinist Eric Silberger and cellist Daniel Lelchuk will be joined by pianist Bradley Moore and operatic tenor Paul Groves.

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If you’re in Alexandria in April or May, stop in at the Athenaeum Gallery in Old Town to see Rappahannock artist Patricia Underwood’s solo exhibition. Opening today, Thursday, April 8, the show will run through May 16 with socially-distanced meet-and-greets scheduled April 10, May 1, and May 15. An artist talk will be held via Zoom on May 15.

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Staff at the entrance to the Shenandoah National Park will resume checking identification for annual park passes starting today, Thursday, April 1. Annual passholders will need to show a form of identification matching their passes when they enter the park. 

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This Saturday, March 27, Flint Hill Fire and Rescue will host an easter egg hunt for kids of all ages and a special prize will be awarded to the winners of each age group with the most eggs. There will be a vendor selling hotdogs, chips and drinks, and families are encouraged to keep an eye out for a “special visitor” with long ears and a fluffy tail.

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The Rappahannock County Library will reopen for patron visits beginning Monday March 15, 2021.  Patrons may visit in-person Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Curbside delivery will continue for patrons who are not comfortable coming inside. Masks and social distancing are required and respectfully requested. Please do not enter the library if you have a fever or are ill.

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Given all the ice and snow around here of late it’s hard to fathom the spring wildland fire season — and accompanying “4PM Burning Law” — is upon us. The ban officially began Monday, Feb. 15, prohibiting burning before 4 p.m. each day between Feb. 15 and April 30 if a fire is within 300 feet of woodland or else burning in brush or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials.

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With his hallmark wit and eloquence, Rappahannock County exemplar Col. John R. Bourgeois, USMC (ret.) now gives an autobiographical account of his life and career as a musician from humble roots who rose through the ranks to become the twenty-fifth director of “The President's Own” United States Marine Band — an acclaimed career that spanned nine presidential administrations, from presidents Eisenhower to Clinton.

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Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles — and now Patrick O’Connell. The chef proprietor of the Inn at Little Washington will join impressive ranks tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 15) in receiving an honorary degree from the College of William and Mary.

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Beverly, a longtime county resident, is celebrating 30 years in the kitchen with chef/proprietor Patrick O’Connell. In her role as chief steward, she plays “a key part in receiving and organizing hundreds of daily deliveries and in keeping the kitchen functioning smoothly.”

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Thirty-two alumni, friends, and family shared their stories over two weekends recently about Rappahannock County’s segregated schools. All were affiliated with at least one of the four Rosenwald Schools in the county, which were located in Scrabble, Washington, Flint Hill, and Amissville and closed with integration in 1968.

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Their hit songs recorded by the likes of Dolly Parton, James Taylor, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and John Mellencamp, Kid Pan Alley's featured Zoom artists Sunday evening are (from left) songwriters Pat Alger and Jon Vezner, seen here with Rappahannock's own Paul Reisler.

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In-Depth Reporting

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Rappahannock Weather

Right Now
71°
Clear
  • Humidity: 90%
  • Cloud Coverage:16%
  • Wind: 0 mph
  • UV Index: 9 Very High
  • Sunrise: 06:10:39 AM
  • Sunset: 08:26:39 PM

Today

Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. Hot. High 92F. Winds light and variable.

Tonight

A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. A few clouds. Low 67F. Winds light and variable.

Tomorrow

Some clouds and possibly an isolated thunderstorm in the afternoon. High 86F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 40%.