Inside this week’s Rappahannock News (Jan. 30)

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Here’s a quick look at this week’s Rappahannock News — at newsstands, mailboxes and inboxes now.

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What you will find in the Jan. 30 edition:

The visible benefits of farm and forest

Rappahannock County’s implementation of land-use taxation — the now-entrenched but often misunderstood process Virginia legislators came up with in the early ’70s for preserving agricultural land, forests and open space throughout the state — has had its consequences. And most them, by far, were intended.

Budget . . . balanced?

After just one budget work session, the Rappahannock County School Board may have already worked out a balanced budget — one that provides a long overdue step raise to the school system’s employees and requires no increased funds from the county or the public.

Man pleads guilty to sexually abusing sons

A Strasburg man charged with aggravated sexual battery against a minor pleaded guilty Tuesday morning (Jan. 28) in Rappahannock County Circuit Court.

Rappahannock landowners protect 825+ acres in 2013

Last year was another successful year for conservation in Rappahannock, as four properties totaling 826 acres were protected by conservation easements in 2013. Over 31,250 acres are now in easement in Rappahannock — almost equal to the amount of county land protected by Shenandoah National Park.

The Rapp for Jan. 30

Rare glass harmonica virtuoso Dean Shostak visits the Castleton Theatre House, RAAC screens “Blue Jasmine” and hosts a special Valentine-themed Friday at the Library, BizLink has its quarterly social meeting and a local “DreamKeeper” is honored in this week’s Rapp column.

Editorial: Of farms and fiscal policy

We’re so busy focusing on the amount of taxes that We the People have to pay that we often forget their purpose is more than simply to generate government revenue. Taxes also influence people’s behavior, and, in Rappahannock’s case, encourage farming. If only it were that easy in Big Washington!

Wild Ideas: The little brown bird of the forest

The diversity of animal species out and about shrinks drastically in winter, and the forest around Pam Owen house is often quite quiet, especially during stretches of unusually cold weather. Recently, however, an unexpected visitor braved the cold winds: the winter wren.

150 Years Ago This Week: A nasty war was developing

President Abraham Lincoln approved a policy on Saturday, Jan. 23, whereby plantation owners in the South would recognize the freedom of their former slaves and hire them by fair contracts to re-commence the cultivation of their plantations. He urged the military authorities to support such a free-labor system.

And more . . .

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