A welcome, and a thank you

John McCaslin joins the News.

People in the news business usually don’t like being part of the news — there are more important stories to tell, we tend to think.

But this week, we have a little story involving ourselves that truly is community news, because this newspaper is honored that Rappahannock is our namesake.

The Rappahannock News has a new editor, John McCaslin, who succeeds Roger Piantadosi who, after trying once before, is retiring from the “weekly miracle.” Roger, a great editor and person, will remain associated with our little enterprise on Jett Street — but have time to pursue other endeavors, and maybe even work a bit less.

John, in a journalism span of 35 years, has been a member of the White House press corps, syndicated political columnist, broadcast news anchor/talk-show host, and best-selling author. In 2015, he took leave to manage Tula’s Restaurant & Bar in Little Washington, which he purchased with business partner Mark Allen, an Alexandria and Rappahannock County real estate attorney.

A native of Old Town Alexandria, John got to know Rappahannock County as a child when visiting family friends who owned an apple orchard off Mt. Marshall Road. Six years ago, he purchased a home in Woodville, where he’s done much of his writing and photography.

“I’m very excited to be back in the Fourth Estate, especially joining the wonderful writers and staff of the Rappahannock News,” he says. “In a short time, I’ve come to love and appreciate this county very much — the people and the place. Now I look forward to relaying what I see and experience to our many longtime readers.”

As for Tula’s, which has become a must stop in Rappahannock County?

“Studies have ranked journalism at or near the top of most stressful jobs. Now that I’ve bussed tables and tackled burst pipes, I know better,” John quips. “In all seriousness, when I’m not on deadline, the loyal patrons of Tula’s will be seeing plenty of me. In fact, given the restaurant and newspaper share the same alley, I’m still parking in my same space!”

As we welcome John to his new role, I want to thank Roger for bringing his talents and dedication to this newspaper full-time since 2009. The paper is certainly better because of his work — and the community is better informed.

Being a fair, non-ideological chronicle of the county always remains our mission. We’re honored to continue this role in 2017, 140 years after the first newspaper called the “Rappahannock News” was published in this special place.

Thanks for reading,

Dennis Brack,