The Rapp for Feb. 1

20 for 20

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Headwaters, 20 new $2,000 scholarships are being made available to any graduate of Rappahannock County High School for undergraduate study — regardless of the year of graduation.

According to Kat Habib, director of Headwaters Next Step College and Career Access Program, applications are due Feb. 28.

“Please note that current RCHS seniors or alumni that have received any of our renewable scholarships will automatically be considered for these additional scholarships when submitting the Local Scholarship Application or Renewal Application; no additional application is needed from them. This application is only for RCHS alumni who are not currently receiving scholarship funds from Headwaters.”

Call Kat for more information at 540-227-0745 x 3459.

Meet & greet

Andrew Sneathern, a Democratic primary candidate for the 5th congressional district that includes Rappahannock, will hold a public meet-and-greet at Headmaster’s Pub in Sperryville this evening, Thursday, Feb 1, at 6:00 p.m.

A former assistant prosecutor in Albemarle County who is now in private practice, Sneathern grew up on his family’s 2,700 acre farm in Missouri, which he said was once run by eight people but now employs only three.

“Those jobs are not coming back,” the 46-year-old Sneathern said when announcing his candidacy, “and anyone who tells you they are either doesn’t understand or is flat-out lying.”

The district’s Democratic primary will be held in early May at a date to be announced. The winner will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Garrett in November.

No lions here

So you think you spotted a cougar — commonly called a mountain lion — in Rappahannock County however many years ago?

Impossible, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which in another three weeks will officially remove the “extinct” (their word, not ours) eastern cougar subspecies (Felis concolor couguar) from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife — “correcting a lingering anomaly that listed the species despite it likely having gone extinct many decades before the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was even enacted.”

One of the last photos ever taken of a confirmed eastern cougar Photo courtesy of USFWS

Fish and Wildlife officials this week said data from researchers in 21 states and Canadian provinces across the lion’s former eastern North American range “indicate the eastern cougar likely disappeared forever at least 70 years ago.”

The removal of the subspecies from the ESA will take effect Feb. 22.

As for reported sightings in our backyard or elsewhere in Virginia, officials said people probably saw “bobcats,” or other animals with tails. In extremely rare cases people in the East might have spotted “released or escaped captives” or “animals dispersing from the West.”

“Accounts suggest that most eastern cougars disappeared in the 1800s, killed out of fear for human and livestock safety and were victims of massive deforestation and overharvesting of white-tailed deer, the cougar’s primary prey,” said the service, which added that the last official confirmed sightings of eastern cougars were in Maine in 1938 and New Brunswick in 1932.

That said, the service confirmed, wild cougar populations in the West “have been expanding their range eastward in the last two decades. While individual cougars have been confirmed throughout the Midwest, evidence of wild cougars dispersing farther east is extremely rare. In 2011, a solitary young male cougar traveled about 2,000 miles from South Dakota through Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York, and was killed on a Connecticut highway. A cougar of unknown origin was also killed in Kentucky in December 2014.”

Double trouble

Instead of warning about this year’s deadly cold and flu season, our nearby Blue Ridge Poison Center is warning about cold and flu medications:

“Some people wrongly assume that twice as much medicine will give twice the relief of symptoms. In fact, taking more than the recommended amount of medicine can cause dangerous side effects. Also beware of accidental overdosing. Many cold and flu products contain a combination of active ingredients, such as decongestants, antihistamines, cough suppressants, and pain relievers. Read the labels: you may be taking the same ingredient more than once if you take more than one medicine.”

Walker Jones celebrates 40th anniversary

It’s a milestone year for Walker Jones, PC. Established in 1978, Walker Jones is Fauquier County’s largest law firm. The firm has a Martindale Hubbell AV rating which is the highest rating for integrity and quality of service. With a head office in Old Town Warrenton, its 11 lawyers serve clients throughout the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., area in family law, civil and commercial litigation, personal injury law, business law, real estate law, wills, trusts and estates, and criminal law.

Attorney Michael T. Brown manages the firm’s Rappahannock office in Washington.

“Walker Jones has proudly served generations of clients for 40 years. We look forward to providing many more years of award-winning legal service,” said Robert deT. Lawrence, IV, who is a founding partner.

For more information, visit or call (540) 347-9223

About Staff/Contributed 5636 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.