The Rapp for March 7

Changing faces

A projected Rappahannock County population in 2020 of 7,236 residents is expected to grow slightly to 7,401 residents in 2030 and 7,460 in 2040 — granted urban sprawl is kept at bay.

That according to the 2018 Community Profile for Rappahannock County, released in recent days by the Virginia Employment Commission.

While little population growth is expected, planners foresee the county’s Hispanic or Latino population more than doubling over the next 20 years, from an estimated 344 residents in 2020 to 716 by 2040.

The county’s white population, meanwhile, is expected to drop: 6,370 in 2020, 6,323 in 2030, down to 6,105 in 2040.

African Americans will see slight growth: 332 residents in 2020, 368 in 2030, and 396 in 2040.

Graham acting

Mary A. Graham, the highest ranking deputy in Rappahannock County’s Office of Revenue, became acting commissioner this week, replacing Sharon Dodson.

Dodson informed this newspaper in January that because of to family circumstances she would need to step down from the elective commissioner’s post effective March 4. She’d been with the county government for 39 years, including as deputy revenue commissioner for 17 years under Beverly Atkins, who retired in 2016 after 30 years in the post.

With Graham’s appointment, there will be no special election to fill the vacancy. The seat is up for election on Nov. 5.

Settle to speak

Virginia State Police Superintendent and Rappahannock native Col. Gary T. Settle will be the speaker at this year’s annual Friends of Scouting Breakfast at the Washington Baptist Church.

Boy Scout Troop 36, Troop 316, and Venture Crew 36 will host the annual breakfast on Saturday, March 16, at 8 a.m. Donations for the benefit of area Boy Scouting will be graciously accepted.

Settle, who has spent his entire career in law enforcement, was sworn in as superintendent in January 2018. From his Richmond headquarters, he oversees a force of 2,700 personnel.

Helmets and hats

Courtesy photo

One of the largest recruitment drives in recent memory is underway in hopes that more members of the public will join the all-important, all-volunteer fire and rescue companies of Rappahannock County.

And you don’t have to wear a helmet.

While firefighters and EMTs are always in high demand, Kevin Williams, Rappahannock County’s Emergency Services/Emergency Management Coordinator, is hoping more county residents will consider filling other vital positions within the departments, whether it be as treasurers, bookkeepers, fundraising and event organizers, or any host of available duties in the local firehouses.

“You don’t have to answer calls,” stressed Williams, who helps oversee fire companies in Chester Gap, Flint Hill, Amissville, Castleton, Sperryville and Washington.

In recent weeks, recruitment flyers were included in tax-related mailings sent by the county government to residents: “We Need Volunteers,” it reads. “It’s not what you look like, what degree you have, or where you come from. It’s about heart. If you’ve got the heart to serve this community in a way that few can, you’ve got everything we need.”

This spring, meanwhile, a countywide “Fire and Rescue Day” will be proclaimed, according to Williams, the exact date and surrounding events announced soon.

Firehouses are also planning “open houses” in the coming months, where residents can drop in for tours and to shake hands with the many diverse volunteers, all of them their neighbors.

Even the Warrenton-based PATH Foundation is hopping aboard to assist with Rappahannock County’s fire and rescue recruitment.

Ready to learn more? Contact Kevin Williams directly at 540-675-5340 or email

Herren for parents

The PATH Foundation is brining back former NBA player Chris Herren to speak in several locations about his recovery from drug addiction. Courtesy photo

Several opportunities to hear in the coming days from former NBA player Chris Herren, who will discuss his recovery after years of drug addiction.

On Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m., the PATH Foundation is hosting a free community forum organized especially for parents, grandparents and guardians in the Highland School Rice Theater, 597 Broadview Avenue in Warrenton.

Herren will speak to students of Rappahannock County High School the next morning. He has spoken for the past two academic years to middle and high school students across Rappahannock, Fauquier, and Culpeper counties.

Second Saturday

Cabin Fever can strike at any moment in March. Rappahannock County Artisan Trail remedies for this affliction include workshops and more this Second Saturday, March 9 (full details at

Before & After hosts a discussion on Sperryville’s history, 7 p.m.

De’Danann Glassworks teaches how to create a mosaic panel from cut glass, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($55)

Griffin Tavern hosts a beach party with the Surf Jaguars, 8 to 11 p.m.

Hazel River Arts and Antiques finds Michele Soderman creating and teaching pottery, noon to 3 p.m.

Gay Street Gallery’s Kevin Adams and three more artists exhibit paintings and clay work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Middle Street Gallery hosts three artists capturing Natural Landscapes of the Shenandoah Valley, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Quievremont Winery releases a new vintage made from merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon grapes.

Dida’s Distillery introduces a new line-up of specialty vodka, gin, and brandy, noon to 5 p.m.

River District Potters instructs how to create a pig or other animal, noon to 3 p.m. ($5 per creature).

The Inn at Mt. Vernon Farm offers complimentary wine and cheese and free box of dark chocolates if you mention the Artisan Trail.

Warmglass Designs at Hazel River Arts and Antiques lets you make a glass Shamrock from colored glass, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($25).

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