The Rapp for Oct. 18

Second wind

When it came to the remnants of Hurricane Michael, Rappahannock County dodged a bullet. Not the case to our south, where several storm related deaths were reported in central and southern Virginia, mostly due to flash flooding, and east where rejuvenated winds blew strong.

Michael, however, did drop buckets of rain on these already saturated hills. And what winds he brought here outened the lights for numerous Rappahannock Electric Cooperative customers. The most widespread outage — caused by a single fallen tree — affected 183 Sperryville households at 1:52 a.m. Friday.

During the height of the storm numerous Harris Hollow locations also experienced power failures, as did pockets of Chester Gap, F.T. Valley and Woodville. Mutual aid crews arrived from Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina to help REC restore power.

Stick out, blend in

Perhaps it wasn’t unusual after all that the suspect in a brazen Bear Wallow robbery last Friday was wearing a yellow hard hat and reflective safety jacket.

“The caller advised a male subject in a yellow reflective safety jacket knocked on the door of his residence off of Bear Wallow Road,” the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s office said. “When the caller answered the door, the suspect stated he was in the area to perform road construction. The suspect then grabbed an undisclosed amount of money from the caller, and fled the scene on foot.”

Another woman reported that same Friday that a similar man showed up at her parents’ house offering to fix their driveway for $2,400. The couple found the man “very odd and suspicious” and turned him away. And just yesterday (Wednesday) Sheriff Connie Compton said another man in construction gear paid a visit to a home near Chester Gap, but no money was stolen.

Wearing construction garb, it turns out, is nothing new for burglars. Yes, they stick out in their bright vests, but at the same time the disguises allow them to blend in so that nobody realizes what mischief they’re up to.

Explained a Washington State sheriff earlier this summer: “They’re using that [construction outfit] to make the neighbors say, ‘OK, they’re just here doing some kind of work’ and in reality they’re the ones breaking into the house.”

The Bear Wallow suspect was described as a white male, approximately 30 years of age, 5 foot 10 inches tall, and 200 to 220 pounds. He is clean shaven with short hair and was last seen wearing the yellow hard hat and safety jacket and light colored blue jeans. The suspect may have occupied a green Chevy Suburban.

Anybody who can help identify the unabashed thief is asked to contact Rappahannock Sheriff’s Investigator Jim Jones at 540-675-5300.

No. 8

Reason to celebrate in Sperryville and indeed Rappahannock County, after influential Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema named Three Blacksmiths among the Top 10 best restaurants in the entire Washington metropolitan region.

“Wow!,” reacts John MacPherson, who with his wife Diane only opened the Main Street establishment this past summer. “We couldn’t be more happy and honored that our little Rappahannock restaurant, Three Blacksmiths, is number 8 in the Washington Post’s Fall Dining Guide. Its a bit surreal seeing our name among such great restaurants, especially after just four months of opening. Many thanks to all our county partners who provide us with such great ingredients, wines, spirits and products.

“And a huge thanks to Blacksmiths’ family — Ethan Taylor, Connor Hartman and Robert Williams.”

O Christmas Tree

Your chance to make the 2018 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony part of your 2018 holiday plans is now. This year, the ceremony takes place on Nov. 28 at President’s Park near the White House. Free tickets will be awarded through an online lottery, which opens at 10 a.m. this morning (Thursday) and closes at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22. To enter the lottery visit and click the ‘Ticket Lottery’ link. Rappahannock County residents without computer access may call 877-444-6777 to enter. Lottery winners will be notified on Oct. 29.

The National Christmas Tree is a living Colorado blue spruce from Virginia, which can be seen year-round in President’s Park. Fifty-six smaller trees surrounding the National Christmas Tree will feature one-of-a-kind ornaments, representing every U.S. state, territory and Big Washington.

Costume spectacle

Ricky Gordon’s best friend, famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, affectionately calls his key drummer and percussionist “Dirty Red.” Gordon and his jazz band will be performing Oct. 27 at the 9th Annual Stone Hill Costume Spectacle in Flint Hill. Courtesy photo

The 9th Annual Stone Hill Costume Spectacle will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. in Flint Hill. Ricky Gordon’s 10-piece New York City jazz band will be raising the bar this year, with Abigail Adams’ Tabla for Two performing under the pergola.

At 5 p.m, much-anticipated costume prizes will be awarded in the categories of Scariest, Funniest, Best Political, Historical, Animal, Environmental & Overall.

At dusk, mentalist Alain Nu will perform everything magic. Followed by the jazz band leading a torch-lit procession to the giant bonfire to entertain revelers in the Circle of the Standing Stones. A food truck will be provided by Little Country Store. Stone Hill is found at 40 Spring Wish Lane in Flint Hill. Free Admission. RSVP:

That was fast

The deadline for Virginia Tax’s six-month individual income tax filing extension is days away. If you’re taking advantage of the extension, you have until Thursday, Nov. 1 to file your return.

Last year nearly 230,000 Virginians filed returns on Nov. 1, and one-third of those were paper returns. Folks are encouraged to file electronically and request a refund, if you have one coming, via direct deposit. That’s the safest and most efficient way to get your return processed.

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