The Rapp for July 19

Saving a life

Sheriff Connie Compton presents Sgt. Matthew Cody Dodson with his Lifesaving Commendation. Courtesy photo

Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie S. Compton has presented Sgt. Matthew Cody Dodson with a special Lifesaving Commendation.

Sgt. Dodson, who grew up in Rappahannock County and graduated from Rappahannock High School — he’s also a member of the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department — was recently dispatched to the scene of a drug overdose, where he quickly administered Naloxone.

Naloxone, also called Narcan, is an opioid antagonist that can completely or partially reverse an opioid overdose.

PATH to success

The PATH Foundation has awarded two additional grants totaling almost $47,000 to benefit Rappahannock County.

A $22,490 Creative Solutions grant was awarded to Rappahannock County Recreational Facilities Authority for their project Play in the Park! The project encourages Rappahannock residents to get outdoors and move. Activities proposed in the grant included tennis court improvements, nine-hole disc golf (BYO disc), concrete corn hole toss (BYO beanbags), shuffleboard (BYO cues and discs). Discs, beanbags and cues can be checked out from the library.

Also, a $24,150 Make it Happen grant was awarded to Rappahannock County Public Schools focusing on protecting Rappahannock County’s star-filled night sky by replacing unshielded, excessively bright outdoor lights with lights that supply equivalent or better illumination to ensure safety and security, reduce glare, help protect wildlife and save electricity. The funds will replace 85 high-intensity outdoor lights at the county’s high school, elementary school and school board office building with dark sky compliant lights.

168 degrees

Now that hot temperatures have settled in for the summer, Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie S. Compton is reminding residents not to leave children or animals in vehicles, even if only for a short amount of time.

“Even though it may not feel that hot to you, it could be deadly for them,” she warns.

Fluke Thermometers were purchased by the department to determine actual temperatures inside vehicles. Last week, the outdoor temperature in Rappahannock County was 93 degrees, but Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Fincham’s Fluke recorded an interior reading of 168 degrees.

Depending on circumstances that include time of exposure, hydration and humidity, the cells in the human body can begin to die when the temperature reaches 106 to 113 degrees.

Lion kings

The Rappahannock Lions Club picked a beautiful July evening for its annual picnic and installation of officers for the upcoming year. The club provided burgers and hot dogs grilled by Larry Grove and Rick Kohler; Lions and their spouses produced a pot-luck spread for the rest.

Joel Dascziewitz, president of the Rappahannock Lions Club in 1972, welcomes incoming president Dave Shiff. Joel’s stint 46 years ago predates all others in the office. Courtesy photo

Longtime Lion Bob Anderson, the club’s Lion Tamer, gave the oath of office to incoming Lions President Dave Shiff, who succeeds Ross O’Donoghue at the helm. Joining Dave in the 2018-19 slate of officers and directors are:

First vice president Bill Nunninger, second vice president Garry Giebel, secretary Jim Manwaring and treasurer Frank Raiter.

Directors include Gordon Axelson, Rudy Segaar, Bill Pumphrey and Bill Pragluski.

Membership co-chairs are Richard Antony and Bud Meyer. Tail Twister is Paul Bush. Jim Blubaugh oversees the Lions Foundation.

Have a hive

Virginia’s recently established Beehive Distribution Program provides beehives and equipment directly to new and established beekeepers in an effort to increase the number of actively managed bee colonies. The program is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

Residents of Virginia who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to receive up to three beehive units per year. Individuals who receive a beehive unit will be registered as beekeepers with VDACS, allowing for periodic inspection of beehives by the agency.

Staff will review applications for the Beehive Distribution Program in the order in which they are received (applications available on the VDACS website).

“Last winter Virginia lost 59.5 percent of its hives,” said Keith Tignor, State Apiarist. “The Beehive Distribution Program will help counteract those dramatic losses by assisting beekeepers in establishing new hives.”

Goossens’ guide

There’s a new reference guide to Virginia’s poisonous plants — “The Socrates Project: Poisonous Plants in Virginia” — thanks to a group of researchers led by Alfred Goossens of the Old Rag Master Naturalists chapter, which serves Rappahannock and surrounding counties.

Goossens saw the need for the guide owing to the high incidence of contacts with poisonous plants, many of which land people in emergency rooms.

“This project is the first of its kind in a couple of ways. It’s the first publication of its kind focused on poisonous plants in Virginia, and it was a totally volunteer-driven effort,” says Michelle Prysby, statewide coordinator of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program.

The guide can also be downloaded via the Virginia Cooperative Extension website,

Inner actors

Mark your calendars: The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community (RAAC) Theatre is inviting the public to participate in a reading of the popular play “Arsenic and Old Lace” on Sunday, August 5 at 3 p.m. at the RAAC Theatre. The reading is free.

This is the second such reading sponsored by the theatre. The first, “Harvey,” attracted a large group of participants and observers. Not only did everyone have a great time, but several new-to-RAAC actors were identified.

“We are calling this low-impact theatre. No experience is necessary,” says Patty Hardee, RAAC Community Theatre artistic director. “We’ll provide scripts at the reading and there will be no rehearsals. There are more than a dozen major and minor roles and a slot for someone to read stage instructions.”

“Arsenic and Old Lace” has been a theatre classic for decades. When it opened, the New York Times critic wrote the production was “so funny that none of us will ever forget it.”

Tables and chairs will be set up for those who want to bring food and drink.

“There will be no admission charge,” says Hardee. “This is our way of saying ‘thanks’ for the support the theatre has received from the community.”

Anyone who knows in advance they’d like to read a role is encouraged to contact Patty Hardee at or 540-675-2506. Sign up will also be available at the door. Observers are also welcome to enjoy the reading as audience members.

Fiddler in residence

Musician Malia Furtado has been selected as the July Artist-in-Residence at Shenandoah National Park.

Furtado is a bluegrass fiddler born and raised in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley and her artistic formation is steeped in the traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains.

“In traditional American music, the mountains are an integral part of the music; they weave themselves into every strain and through the lyrics of countless songs.” said Furtado, who currently resides in Staunton.

In addition to performing with the Gina Clowes Project, she is a fiddle instructor at camps, workshops and festivals up and down the East Coast, including at the Front Porch Roots Music School in Charlottesville and Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave.

Her residency will run through July 30. Park visitors are invited to join Furtado for public programs on Wednesday, July 25 at 8:30 p.m. at the Skyland Amphitheater (mile 42.5) and on Saturday, July 28 at 1:30 p.m. at the Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51). The public presentations are suitable for visitors of all ages.

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