The Rapp for Jan. 24

Fourth Estate Friday

Time to brainstorm with Rappahannock News staff for the first time in 2019. The dialogue begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 25 at the Country Cafe in Washington.

Please bring story ideas, submissions, and suggestions for the newspaper and/or Better yet, get to know the faces behind the bylines.

Just below Austin

Chef John MacPherson and Connor Hartman get set up for the evening dinner at Three Blacksmiths restaurant in Sperryville. By Douglas Graham for the Piedmont Virginian

America is home to more than one million restaurants. With that in mind, USA Today asked a panel of food and travel experts to nominate their 20 favorite new restaurants to open in the past year, ranging from chef-driven fast casual concepts to high-end dining with a focus on hyper-local and sustainable ingredients.

The 20 favorite restaurants are all found in the largest cities in America, like Chicago and Philadelphia, with the exception of one: Three Blacksmiths in Sperryville.

Remarked USA Today: “Each week the multi-course dinner menu at Three Blacksmiths changes to reflect the best ingredients sourced from throughout Rappahannock County in Virginia. The 16-seat restaurant offers the vibe of an intimate dinner party, where the food is served by the owners and chefs, husband and wife team John and Diane MacPherson, in a warm and welcoming environment.”

For the past month, readers have been voting for their favorites, and the results are in. The top 5 winners for Best New Restaurant:

1. Anthem – Austin
2. Three Blacksmiths – Sperryville
3. Wine Bar George – Orlando
4. Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen – Las Vegas
5. Paris.Hawaii – Honolulu

“We’re honored and thrilled to be named a top new restaurant in the United States,” reacts Diane MacPherson. “We’re humbled by the support our guests, friends and neighbors here in Rappahannock County and the D.C. area have shown us.”

New stickers

Virginia State Police are rolling out a newly-designed vehicle safety inspection sticker that now includes a traffic safety message. Effective this month, all certified Virginia inspection stations began issuing the sticker, which has been reduced from 2.75 inches in height to 2 inches and from 4 inches in length to 3 inches.

New Virginia safety inspection stickers were unveiled this month. Courtesy photo

The year of expiration is now permanently affixed to the right side of the sticker. Even though the overall size has been reduced, the month has been enlarged to provide better visibility.

The sticker’s security features have also been enhanced in order to prevent unauthorized removal, tampering and counterfeit practices.

Another new feature enables State Police to reach an estimated 8.2 million motorists annually with a reminder about Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over a lane when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law applies to all vehicles equipped with red, blue and amber lights.

The placement of the sticker was changed in 2018 from the center of the windshield to the bottom, left corner due to safety concerns related to automotive innovations in recent years.

Reverend recognized

Rev. Ludwell Brown Sr. (left) is honored with special recognition by Rev. Cleo Frye. By Tracy Slaughter

The Wayland Blue Ridge Baptist Association ministers’ and deacons’ union recognized WBRBA Moderator, Reverend Ludwell Brown Sr., as the community special recognition recipient at its closing year session.

He was presented a plaque bearing the verse of Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Truly, the association states, Rev. Brown “has expressed such a dear love for people and their well being as he has opened his ears, heart and arms to assist anyone that may have a need for shelter, food, and some just have a moment to receive some good, solid counseling or encouragement to help them overcome obstacles in their life.”

Rev. Brown is pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Haywood, spending 32 years in paid and unpaid military status caring for local vets and making certain they are aware of available benefits. He is also a member of the local Human Services Board and Heat Shelter.

Among his many honors and awards: first to received the Five over Fifty Aging Award, first African American Grand Marshall of the 4th of July parade, nominated for the Heverty Award, and awarded the Boy Scout of America Award.

She Jumps

Massanutten Resort is partnering with K2 & SheJumps to Celebrate the 6th Annual International Women’s Ski & Snowboard Day on Saturday, Feb. 2. Rappahannock County women are invited to get together to celebrate the power of female camaraderie by having fun on and off the mountain.

The event is open to women and girls of all ages and abilities and will include a fun day of skiing and snowboarding. Instructors and lessons will be available. The highlight of the event is the apres ski party at Base Camp, the indoor/outdoor umbrella bar on the ski lodge deck, featuring refreshments and a raffle benefiting future SheJumps.

Ticket purchases with discounted rates are available via Eventbrite and must be made by noon, Feb. 1. Registration the day of the event is $20. Discounted group lessons are available for all ages.

SheJumps increases the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities to foster confidence, leadership, and connection to nature and community through free and low-cost outdoor education. They believe in increasing diversity in the outdoors and providing all women and girls with the spark that will lead to a lifetime of outdoor learning and empowerment.

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