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The couple says the bulk of their work includes tending to their own cattle and helping regular clients. However, they’ve gained a reputation as cattle wranglers in the area and receive intermittent calls from farmers in need of their specific skill set. They say responding to calls like these comes with a fair share of risks.

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When students returned to Rappahannock’s two public schools last week, all indications were that finally things were back to normal. No more masking. No more social distancing. Kids could go to classes, eat lunch together, hang out in the hallways like they did in the days before anyone knew the word COVID.

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Sandra Maskas — Manager, Rappahannock Visitors Center; retired psychiatric social worker at Fauquier Hospital; former board member of Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board, Rappahannock County Recreational Facilities Authority, Fauquier Free Clinic, and Fauquier Community Action; moved to Rappahannock from Pittsburgh in 1979. Lives in Amissville.

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Hal Hunter is at it again. He has this thing about trying to make people’s lives a little better. Back in 2009, he was the driving force behind the launch of the Rappahannock Food Pantry and its Backpack Program that sends food home with elementary school kids on weekends. Same with the rollout of Rapp at Home six years later, with its mission of helping seniors in the community stay in their homes.

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Fifty years ago, motorists traveled through Amissville on a two-lane road dotted with historic homes, small hardware and grocery stores, restaurants, tourist cabins, garages, and a post office. Today, most travelers on four-lane U.S. Route 211 buzz past the village’s big green welcome signs that read, “Ensuring our Future by Preserving Our Past.”

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The divides in Rappahannock tend to play out in public — but so do times of harmony that live up to this idyllic setting. One such event occurred recently on Eldon Farms. “Cancer is Messy” was organized to honor cancer survivors and their families, including two young students at the county’s elementary school, Anne Genho and Farrah Gates.

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For farmers and food-related businesses, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S inflation, and China’s lockdown of 40-some cities hit by COVID-19, have ignited a tsunami of economic woes. What’s surprising is the speed with which the disruptions have pushed up prices for nearly everything farmers need to stay in business — fertilizer, livestock feed, labor and fuel.

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The Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors on Monday will be faced with making the hugely consequential decision of whether to advance universal internet expansion across the finish line as part of what County Administrator Garrey Curry called the “most important project” the county has undertaken in decades.

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The real estate tax rate reduction proposed by County Administrator Garrey Curry earlier this month would cut taxes for more than two-thirds of the county’s property owners, according to a preliminary analysis by the Commissioner of Revenue. That’s a more significant benefit than  policymakers expected, and it will ease pressure on the Board of Supervisors to deepen the reduction beyond the initial proposal.

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In-Depth Reporting

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Rappahannock Weather

Right Now
48°
Sunny
  • Humidity: 33%
  • Cloud Coverage: 14%
  • Wind: 2 mph
  • UV Index: 2 Low
  • Sunrise: 07:14:25 AM
  • Sunset: 04:51:11 PM

Today

Plenty of sunshine. High around 50F. Winds light and variable.

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 27F. Winds light and variable.

Tomorrow

Partly cloudy skies. High near 50F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

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The worst of the pandemic would seem to be behind us. Unfortunately, not all of it. In fact, an often-overlooked impact of COVID-19 — an alarming rise in drug and alcohol use — could be one of its darker lasting effects. For many, the months and months of isolation, stress and uncertainty proved to be a toxic combination. More than a few of those in recovery have relapsed. 

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I was raised during the Depression. We didn’t have money, but with a cow, pigs, chickens, and a vegetable garden, we always had enough to eat. My mother shared food with many families and helped out in the community. I can remember delivering groceries on my roller skates to folks who couldn’t get out of the house. Mother used to say, “You give someone in need a quarter and it comes back as a dollar.” During that time, I learned the value of helping others. 

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Rappahannock County’s celebrated blacksmith, now 87, is preparing to leave his forge in Huntly, and perhaps, depart the county where many of his sculptures grace the landscape and where memories and friendships proliferate. For now, he is hard at work on what he has concluded will be his last commission.