Inside this week’s News (Feb. 18)

Here’s a quick look at this week’s Rappahannock News — at newsstands, mailboxes and inboxes now.
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School Board votes down recording meetings

A motion by Stonewall-Hawthorne district School Board Member Larry Grove to record all school board meetings, and to save each month’s meeting recording on a single copy audio disc for 30 days before being erased, failed to pass, by a 3-2 vote, with Hampton District representative Lucy “Pud” Maeyer the other pro-recording vote.

“My original question was: If a citizen were to read the minutes could they tell what we were talking about?” Grove said at last week’s meeting, re-introducing a concept to record meetings to provide more in-depth summaries of school board meeting minutes, which are provided in hard copy at the following month’s meeting. Grove had expressed concern about the vagueness of meeting summaries written by the School Board clerk.

“I did review our policy regarding meeting minutes . . . and we are in accordance with our policy,” board chairman Wes Mills of Jackson District said, as recorded by a Rappahannock News handheld digital recorder at the meeting. “I’ve read the copies of the supervisors minutes over the past few months, and I believe what we are doing is similar to what they are doing. So I would say our current method and detail should be sufficient.”

Plus: Letters to the editor on this topic from Rachel Bynum and Bill Freitag

Jennifer Martin Woodward
Coach of the Year: Alex Coffroth shouting instructions during a match, the 26-year-old said he expected a state championship at the beginning of the season, and his mind hasn’t changed. “They’re peaking at the right time,” Coffroth said. Jennifer Martin Woodward

One trophy left, region champs are state bound

The Rappahannock High School wrestling team made their mark on Saturday (Feb. 13), winning the Region 1A East Championship at Northampton High School by 49 points, and sending five wrestlers to the finals match. Region champs: Christian McCracken at 145 lbs., Ethan Foley at 170, and David Smoot at 220. Hunter Nicodemus (106) and Johnny Beard (182), finished second in their classes. 26-year-old head coach Alex Coffroth was voted regional Coach of the Year.

Commonwealth’s Attorney involved in distracted driving accident

According to the summons filed by State Trooper P. A. Thomas, the accident occurred at 9:35 a.m. a half-mile west of Rock Mills Road near the intersection of Rudasill Mill and Shade Lane. Weather was clear and speed was not a factor in the accident.

Democrat Dittmar focusing on rural broadband, job training

Providing Internet access to rural Virginia today is as important as running electricity to those same areas was in the ’30s and ’40s, according to Democratic Fifth District Congressional candidate Jane Dittmar.

“Even though we’re considered a wealthy county, [Albemarle County] could not afford to deploy Internet out to our rural area,” Dittmar said, noting that in the 16 years she lived in Scottsville before becoming a county supervisor, she had no idea there were areas without internet, since she had good connectivity at her home in the more urban part of the district. “And [Scottsville] is sort of a microcosm of what the Fifth is: We have wealthy conservative voters in the northern part; we have sort of a Democratic base in the central part; and then we have people that are living in the rural areas that also need better jobs, need more services in terms of Internet and cell.”

The Rapp for Feb. 18

Castleton in Performance will present JP Jofre and the Hard Tango Chamber Band on Sunday (Feb. 21) at 4 p.m.

The first few notes that signal the trapped heat of tango can only be produced by the bandoneon. This special instrument, which looks like an accordion but plays like an organ with four keyboards, will be in the hands of the universally acclaimed bandoneonist and composer JP Jofre. Jofre will be joined by the Hard Tango Chamber Band: violinist Eric Silberger, cellist Amy Kang, double bassist Chris Johnson, pianist Siyi Fang, and Argentinian guest pianist Pablo Cafici.

Rapp at Home launches website, attracts volunteers, members

The website for Rapp at Home ( went live last Friday, just in time for an open house to recruit volunteers and members. The open house, held at the RAAC Community Theatre in Washington, drew about 30 people. On the coldest day of the year, attendees warmed up with pastries and coffee donated by Triple Oak Bakery, Creekside Bakery and Central Coffee Roasters.

A ‘deeply involved’ director

Academy Award-winning independent filmmaker Paul Wagner, who has produced and directed more than 40 documentary and dramatic films, will be one of the special guests at the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community’s Film Festival of Little Washington being held April 8-10.

Wagner, joined by wife and business partner Ellen Casey Wagner, will be the guest of honor at the festival’s Sponsor Appreciation Dinner tentatively set for April 7, where he will greet guests and discuss the independent filmmaking industry.

Wild Ideas: Spiders in the snow

Depending on the species, spiders can spend the winter dormant in any of their three life stages — egg, juvenile or adult — or stay active, even walking across snow, in this week’s Wild Ideas.

Plus: Richard Brady and the Sperryville and Washington columns, Events, the Crossword and more.

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