It’s one of Rappahannock’s more worrisome fault lines. For years, the aging of the county’s population has rippled through the community’s fire and rescue companies. More and more trained volunteers are calling it quits as they get older, and younger replacements aren’t coming close to filling the void.
Is election fraud a serious threat to our institutions and the way we elect our officials, or is it a canard promoted by 2020 election deniers and conspiracy theorists? And importantly, as we approach elections early next month, can it happen here in Rappahannock County?
New maps for congressional, state and local legislative districts. Absentee ballots. Early voting. Updated voter registration rules. New voter ID cards. With the Nov. 8 election a little more than six weeks away, the Rappahannock County Registrar of Voters has its hands full getting ready.
On a moonless night in late August a cluster of people moved gingerly in the Rappahannock County Park shadows to take turns peering at the starry sky through amateur astronomers’ telescopes.
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.
Back in the day, when John Jackson played the Piedmont blues, it went by another name, that’s if it had one at all. “People just called it music. Or maybe dance music,” said Phil Wiggins, celebrated blues harmonica player. “You’d play it at house parties and it has this really great rhythm. People would want to get up and dance.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
While I’m always curious about the behavior of animals, my monitoring of birds breeding this spring has been sporadic for several reasons, leaving me with more questions than answers.
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.
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.
The Rappahannock News was recognized with more than 30 awards, including two top Best in Show honors and 16 first-place awards, in the Virginia Press Association’s 2021 competition for excellence in journalism and advertising.
As Rappahannock County approaches a decision point on participating in an ambitious eight-county high-speed broadband plan, advocates might pause to salute two events that make the milestone project possible.
Imagine: You’re in your mid-70s living alone and recovering from major surgery. Six weeks of physical therapy is required to get back on your feet. You don’t have access to a vehicle or are physically unable to drive.
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.
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.
The Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors will explore deepening the proposed cuts in Rappahannock’s tax rates, reflecting a surge in tourist-related income, plus leftover funds from the federal government’s pandemic-relief programs.
Plan calls for 18% cut in property tax rate...But it won’t be a windfall for homeowners: Since values soared, change will keep most tax bills the same or only slightly higher
In December, a crew from the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to a call. They picked up a patient and headed for Fauquier Hospital. There, they waited to transfer care of the woman, but the Emergency Department’s staff was clearly overwhelmed.
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.
Just before 2021 came to an end, Rappahannock County took a monumental step toward ensuring universal access to reliable broadband after receiving a substantial grant from the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI).
Foothills Forum and the Rappahannock News look back at 2021 — and ahead to 2022 — to see where the county stands on...Development, schools
For all the adversity it has brought to local families, schools and businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly good to one part of the Rappahannock County community: its real estate market.
Ever wonder how your Rappahannock County neighbor’s property is zoned? Do you live in a floodplain? Worried your property boundary might not be accurately reflected on tax maps? Which fire and rescue company is first due at your address? What’s your voting district?
Rappahannock’s general property reassessment — conducted in a booming real estate market — is wrapped up, and notices will go out to residents Nov.10. The anxiously awaited numbers form the basis for setting property taxes, the county’s lifeline revenue source.
I’m so proud of RAAC’s creative and thoughtful response to the pandemic! With regular programming such as movies, theatre performances, Art Tour and Soup & Soul on hold, our Board & volunteers stepped up with creative alternatives to keep the arts alive.
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.
So goes the land use quandary stewing in rural counties around Virginia, the result of a building friction between the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals and the desire of communities to preserve productive farmland and with it, their agricultural identities.
A year ago, Shannon Grimsley was facing the unfathomable. Another school year was about to begin, but one under the perilous cloud of COVID. Could she, as superintendent of Rappahannock County Public Schools (RCPS), and her teachers and staff keep kids safe in the midst of a pandemic?