News briefs for Sept. 29

Cooter’s heads to Page County

The former Outlanders Motorcycles site on U.S. 211 west of Luray.
The former Outlanders Motorcycles site on U.S. 211 west of Luray. google maps

Rappahannock residents Ben Jones and Alma Viator are taking their Cooter’s in the Country operation over the mountain.

The Page County Office of Economic Development announced last Friday that Cooter’s will open in the building previously occupied by Outlanders Motorcycles, on U.S. 211 just west of Luray.

“It is our privilege to announce that Page County will become the home to Cooter’s,” read a post on the Page County Economic Development Facebook page.

Ben Jones, who starred in the “Dukes of Hazzard” 1980s TV series and operates two other Cooter’s attractions in Tennessee, confirmed the new location Saturday on his Facebook page.

“Our parking problems have created an untenable situation at our current location but we have found a wonderful new location just above the Shenandoah River about four miles west of the famous Luray Caverns. We’ll still be on Highway 211, but we’ll be only about ten minutes from Interstate 81, a major north/south highway,” Jones wrote. “The building is the former home of Outlanders Motorcycles, and it is an ideal setting for what we want to create. There is a very large space for our ‘Dukes Museum,’ room to do live music events, a restaurant area, and acres of parking areas.”

After serving two terms as a congressman in Georgia, Jones opened the first Cooter’s in 1999 on the two-lane highway just west Sperryville, closing it when he opened a Cooter’s in Gatlinburg, and another in Nashville.

The current store, which was opened last year at Old Hollow Road and 211 just east of Sperryville, sits in a small commercial zone with a backyard and overflow parking area in an agricultural zone. Jones withdrew his application for a special permit to allow weekend music events in 2015 after it met with opposition at a planning commission session; this summer, neighbors’ complaints about traffic, parking and allegations of zoning violations prompted Jones to announce in August that Cooter’s would close Oct. 31.

Jones has publicly blamed “local ‘big shots.’

“Alma and I have sincerely worked to address these issues,” he wrote in August, “but the petty harassment has continued to the breaking point for us. Life is simply too short to appease this kind of small-minded crapola.”

Speaking of coliform bacteria, the current store is also under a health department order to boil all water used for food preparation; property owner Dick McNear said last week that a new commercial well, which recently amended Virginia regulations now require of even small mom-and-pop operations that serve food, would cost up to $20,000 to drill and connect, the nearest suitable spot being more than 100 yards from the store. Cooter’s was reportedly asked to pay for half the projected cost.

Cooter’s will remain open in Sperryville until Oct. 31; there’s a Cooter’s Garage Band concert on Oct. 22 to benefit of the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department.

— Roger Piantadosi

Car show to support Shop with a Deputy

Do you like classic cars and the people who restore them? Do you have a classic car, truck, motorcycle or tractor you’d like to show off? The Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring what Sheriff Connie Compton hopes will be the first of many car shows to raise money for the RCSO’s annual Shop with a Deputy Christmas program. “We want to raise more money to take more children Christmas shopping,” said Compton.

The car show will be held at Rappahannock County Elementary School on Saturday, Oct. 15. Admission is free to spectators. Compton, working with Culpeper-based car show promoter Tony Tharpe, is planning a day of fun, food and entertainment. “There will be a raffle and a DJ playing music,” said Compton. And RCSO deputies and other volunteers will be cooking and serving hot dogs, hamburgers, sno-cones, popcorn and other food items.

Tharpe, who has been running car shows in the region since 1980, said Compton plans to award prizes for the best of show and other categories. In addition, the top 25 vehicles will get trophies.

This year marks the 20th annual Shop with a Deputy event, in which deputies pair up with needy kids to shop at a nearby store. Each child can buy $100 worth of merchandise for themselves and their families — followed by breakfast with Santa at the elementary school, gift-wrapping by volunteers and a food basket to take home.

The free car show is 11 to 3:30 Saturday, Oct. 15 at RCES, with car registration 9 to 10:30 a.m.; $20 per-car entry fee. For more information, call Sheriff Compton at 540-675-5300 or Tony Tharpe at 540-825-6878.

— Patty Hardee

Walker Jones partners recognized

Walker Jones, PC, partners Julia S. Savage and Susan F. Pierce were recognized recently for their high standard of client satisfaction.

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (AIOFLA) chose Ms. Savage as 2016 10 Best in Virginia for Client Satisfaction for the second consecutive year. This third-party attorney rating organization publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected must pass AIOFLA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation.

Ms. Pierce was recognized by the American Institute of Legal Counsel as 2016 10 Best Personal Injury Attorney in Virginia for Client Satisfaction. The American Institute of Legal Counsel chooses attorneys who have achieved unparalleled success but most importantly have done so for the benefit of their client. They must have an impeccable client satisfaction rating.

Walker Jones, PC has offices in Warrenton and Washington, Virginia. Both Ms. Savage and Ms. Pierce can be reached at 540-347-9223 or

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