piantadosi

Roger Piantadosi is the editor of the Rappahannock News. He was an editor, staff writer and information architect at The Washington Post for almost 30 years before retiring (or so he thought) in 2008. He and his wife, Charmaine Lee, have lived in Washington, Va., since 1999.


Hitt will serve on joint benefits study group

Jul. 12, 2012
Hitt will serve on joint benefits study group

The Rappahannock County School Board Tuesday night (July 10) chose Jackson district member Amy Hitt to serve on a joint supervisors-school board committee charged with finding a more equitable and presumably cost-effective way to fund benefits – primarily health insurance – for all the county and school division’s 225-plus employees. The board agreed to...
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Crime and Courts for July 12

Jul. 12, 2012
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Two more sentenced in Grand View Arson; four indictments handed down by Rappahannock County Circuit Court grand jury.
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Photo: Mark your (online) calendar

Jul. 12, 2012
Mark Shepardson

Every Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m., Rappahannock County Library is offering basic computer help and advice from Flint Hill computer guy Mark Shepardson, pictured here in the library’s PC corner. Librarian David Shaffer says a pilot program makes it possible for Shepardson to provide help with downloading, uploading, managing photos, creating Word documents,...
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Weather or not, county business goes on  

Jul. 5, 2012
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Rappahannock County’s five supervisors, two of whom still had no electricity at home after last week’s storm, spent a couple of hours at the (air-conditioned) courthouse for their regular monthly meeting Monday (July 2), devising ways to maximize limited space and state-reduced budgets.
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With power knocked out, volunteer power kicks in

Jul. 5, 2012
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Though surely neighbors aided neighbors throughout the huge swath of mid-Atlantic infrastructure that had its plug pulled Friday, the stories of what happened in Rappahannock County during and after the storm prove that coping is one of this county’s top local industries.
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Photo: In-house firefighter

Jul. 5, 2012
Joey Sandy presents Dot Jones with her certificate of appreciation.

Sarah “Dot” Jones of Sperryville, who works at Washington’s Blue Rock Inn, smelled smoke during the intense heat of one of those pre-storm afternoons last week; she tracked down the source and found that a smoldering area of mulch around the restaurant’s rear deck had spread to the deck itself. She ran for buckets...
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Additional charges in starvation case

Jun. 21, 2012
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A Castleton couple, one of whom is charged with attempted capital murder for what authorities say was an attempt to starve to death one of their two children, now faces a felony charge of cruelty to a child, according to the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office.
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Virtual office, cafe in the works along Gay Street

Jun. 7, 2012
Kramer Building

Many Americans may still have to go out of their way to find encouraging economic news, but certain Rappahannock County entrepreneurs are going about quietly making their own.
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Bridges out, worries in town

May. 24, 2012
Tractor-trailer attempting acute angle left turn onto Main Street Sperryville from U.S. 211 west. He backed up and went over the mountain.

A difficult and unhappy traffic situation has developed on the village’s few and narrow thoroughfares – for residents seeking quiet, children and dog-walkers seeking safe passage and through traffic seeking to make any sort of haste.
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Town’s 9-acre deal seen as a potential conservation model

May. 17, 2012
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The town of Washington plans to purchase one of the county's most develop-able commercial real estate tracts and, if all goes right, never develop it — except as a showcase of conservation.
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Castleton Festival ‘gets ready to get ready’

May. 17, 2012
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Although, in just over a month, three full-scale operas will need to be almost-simultaneously rehearsed in the shed that houses his desk, in the Festival Tent next door and the nearby Theatre House, Castleton Festival production chief John D. Harris is calm, cheerful even.
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Out of town on a rail

May. 11, 2012
From the Bekins website: "Since 1891, Bekins has been providing our customers with the best value and service. No other van line has more experience than Bekins."

Trucks should not be in Sperryville while the U.S. 211 bridge is being rebuilt. How you and your camera/phone can help stamp out commercial truck-driver illiteracy and make the village, and its guardrails, safe again.
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Supervisors cut $280K from school budget

May. 10, 2012
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No one left happy from Monday afternoon’s monthly Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors meeting – as several of its members had predicted – after the supervisors approved what the county would spend on schools for 2012-2013.
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Mr. Hurt goes to Washington

May. 3, 2012
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For once, a U.S. Congressman was spending some time in the right Washington.
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Photos: The fruits of cooperation

Apr. 26, 2012
Photos: The fruits of cooperation

Rappahannock fruit growers meet with visiting agricultural scientists from Senegal.
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Photo: Walking the walk

Apr. 26, 2012
Photo: Walking the walk

Members of the 4-H Community Club (Maddie Heneghan, treasurer; Henry Mason; and Shelby Burnett, president) present Roger Welch, chairman of the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors, with a $1,000 check for county parks and recreation improvements. The funds were earned via the club’s first-ever Jingle Bell 5K Race/Walk, held in the town of Washington...
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CNA class in county?

Apr. 19, 2012

Informal talks have begun between public school officials and community members in Rappahannock County interested in getting a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class started at the high school – a class that could be open to the public as well as to students. The possibility was brought up at the school board’s regular meeting...
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Proposed tax rate rise is 5 cents

Apr. 5, 2012
RNThisWeekNew

Taxes going up? Stonewall-Hawthorne polling place changed, loan for the regional jail approved, and bids to be sought for window replacement at the schools.
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Swaim’s death: the loss of a ‘great friend’

Mar. 29, 2012
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Howard “Howie” Swaim, 51, an artist, entrepreneur and real estate agent who lived in Washington and grew up in Rappahannock County – a place his friends say he loved like no other – died unexpectedly at home Saturday.
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Town focuses on its more . . . fetching qualities

Mar. 15, 2012

The Washington Town Council, without much to vote on besides paying the monthly bills at its regular meeting Monday night (March 12), found itself engaged mostly in talk about appearances –  specifically, the keeping- and/or shoring-up thereof. For example: The town’s new website (found at washingtonva.gov), though it’s been online for several weeks, had...
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Issue of the day: infrastructure

Mar. 8, 2012
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Infrastructure, bridge replacements, tourism statistics, school budget and Castleton's polling place.
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The Rapp for March 8

Mar. 8, 2012
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Civil War painterly photos at Middle Street and a benefit art show in Madison; update on AT&T cell towers and Piedmont Broadband plans; the annual county cleanup is underway; Angus news around the county.
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4-H club students step up to the Capitol

Mar. 1, 2012
STUDENTS AND chaperones with the 4-H Community Club on the Capitol steps in Richmond.

On Feb. 7, the 4-H Community Club organized a charter bus trip to the Virginia State Capitol for a “4-H Day at the Capitol.”
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School budget rise lessened — a bit

Feb. 23, 2012

The Rappahannock County School Board and the few members of the public in attendance at its first budget “work session” Tuesday night spent more than two and a half hours clarifying – and, in a couple of cases, canceling – some of the possible additions to superintendent Aldridge Boone’s proposed 2012-2013 budget, which started...
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Schools will cost more this year: Boone

Feb. 16, 2012
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For five consecutive years, during which the county property tax rate actually declined, local funding for schools has remained unchanged at $8.5 million. That honeymoon, however, might be over.
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Fire and Rescue Calls for Feb. 16

Feb. 16, 2012

Rappahannock County fire and ambulance calls dispatched Feb. 6-12: Monday, Feb. 6 8:35 a.m. – Castleton Ford Road, difficulty breathing, companies 3, 5 and 1 1:25 p.m. – Main Street, Washington, life line activation, company 1 7:41 p.m. – Headwaters Road, Chester Gap, unresponsive person, company 9 8:35 p.m. – Jordans Road, Amissville, general illness,...
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Castleton venue can now seat 650

Feb. 9, 2012
Photo courtesy CastletonFestival.org

Hosts of the summer’s annual Castleton Festival are now allowed to increase the seating capacity for their classical music and opera events by more than 60 percent.
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Neighbors to appeal B&B ruling

Feb. 2, 2012
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Neighbors of a once-controversial home on Clark Lane – controversial because its owner was illegally using it as a B&B – say they will fight the prospective new owners’ plans to use it for the same purpose, though legally.
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Letter: Thanks for letting us keep up with Jones (and other neighbors) 

Feb. 2, 2012

Rappahannock News reporter Alex Sharp VIII  did a nice job on the advance of the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP) talk by our Long Mountain Road neighbor Bruce Jones. Bruce and Susan Jones are truly dedicated to the ideals of life in the county. The public talk is proof that RLEP is doing...
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Cafe for lease but Rapp Central stays

Jan. 26, 2012
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Reports of the death of Rappahannock Central have been greatly exaggerated.
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Guest editorial: The broken branch

Jan. 26, 2012

There’s a major political event approaching this fall, and though I have no doubt it will be overshadowed by the elections, I hope you’ll carve out some time for it anyway.
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If you can’t help big, help little

Jan. 26, 2012

By Toni Browning In the 15 years I have been an advocate/case manager for aging services, I have seen thousands of older adults. Some have done fine on their own, some have needed a little help and many were in predicaments that were desperate and sad. The common belief that once a person turns 60 there are...
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Marijuana-growing charges downgraded

Jan. 19, 2012
courtcrimegavelNew

Charges of growing and distributing marijuana against several members of a Castleton family – the result of flyovers by law enforcement on an unrelated manhunt last summer – are downgraded to misdemeanors.
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Crime and Courts for Jan. 12

Jan. 12, 2012
RNThisWeekNew

A plea agreement has likely been reached with 18-year-old Cameron MacArthur of Amissville in the cases spawned by August’s burglary, arson and manhunt on Grand View Road.
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The solace of Christmas past

Dec. 29, 2011
THE AUTHOR’S parents on a long-ago Christmas morning get some well-earned rest.

I was a middle child, growing up, with sufficient space between my older sisters and younger brother that I enjoyed my own experience of the world. I was neither the object of vigilance by inexperienced parents nor the focus of longing my brother would be, as the last child and only boy. “Birth to graduation on...
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Christmas parade slideshow, version 2.0

Dec. 9, 2011
SantaClaus179

More, better pictures in Version 2.0 of our “Christmas in Little Washington” parade and festival slideshow — for which we owe many thanks to all who sent in photos this week (credits are on the last slide), some of which we were also able to get into our little paper this week. (On an...
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County will pay off lights rather than loan interest

Dec. 8, 2011
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With $220,000 outstanding, the note being paid by the county for the stadium lights installed three years ago at the high school has been accruing interest at the rate of $30 a day. The Board of Supervisors put an end to that and voted to pay the note off.
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Slideshow: Christmas in Little Washington

Dec. 4, 2011
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NOTE: There’s a newer, better version of this slideshow here. A beautiful day, and maybe the best Christmas in Little Washington parade and festival ever. This slideshow’s just the first batch of photos — we’ll post another version by Friday with lots more staff and reader-submitted photos. (And be sure to check the Thursday,...
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Fire at Sperryville School House

Dec. 1, 2011
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Fire and rescue companies from around the county responded early Thursday morning to a fire at the Sperryville School House (formerly the Link), reported by a passerby sometime before 5 a.m. By 10 a.m., when this photo was taken, Sperryville Volunteer Fire Company chief Richie Burke (speaking into a radio atop the ladder) and...
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Retail back to ‘School’

Dec. 1, 2011
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Retail businesses return to Sperryville School House (formerly the Link), and business is looking up elsewhere.
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