Land Use/Zoning

The bike trail: Dead or alive?

The vote on the trail, conceived as the first leg of a 6-mile multi-use path between Washington and Sperryville, capped nearly three hours of heated public comment from more than 50 county residents. The vote required RappTrails to deliver an irrevocable letter of credit or some other guarantee that taxpayer money will not be used to build the trail. […]

Crime & Courts

Bragg v BOS ordered to trial: ‘Time to resolve this matter,’ says judge

Last Thursday, Judge Parker heard a list of outstanding issues that needed to be resolved before the case — which he said has dragged out for two years — goes to trial. County Attorney Art Goff and local attorney Mike Brown, both representing the BOS, argued that several points made by Bragg should be dismissed because they were irrelevant or invalid. Bragg’s attorney, David Konick, argued successfully that the allegations had merit. […]

School/Education News

Behavioral health services to expand in county, public schools

The Rappahannock school system currently collaborates with the National Counseling Group, which provides therapeutic day treatment services through teleconferencing with psychiatrists (called tele-psych). But recently the NCG has offered to create a satellite office in Rappahannock County and provide services two days a week starting in 2019. […]

Politics/Government

‘Code of Conduct’ for county officials in the pipeline

Both the afternoon and evening sessions of the meeting were punctuated with arguments, raised voices, interruptions, accusations, and anger — certain board members and county citizens alike. Ironic, or maybe timely, as one of the agenda items in the evening session was a discussion about adopting a code of conduct for county officials. […]

Crime & Courts

Llama farmer’s lawsuits against county government, taxpayers move forward in court

Stonewall-Hawthorne supervisor Chris Parrish, named in both Bragg cases, observed the Tuesday hearing. Afterward, in a brief interview, Parrish questioned the merits of the case. “David [Konick] said that when he opens his file he says he ‘wonders what this case is all about,’” Parrish said. “It just shows that the case has no merit.” […]

Land Use/Zoning

Public hearing scheduled on tourist home, B&B acreage requirements

The planners will consider whether in Agricultural and Conservation zones the minimum acreage requirement for tourist homes should be two and five acres, respectively, or ten acres in either zone. The commissioners will also consider whether contiguous property belonging to the same owner can be counted toward filling out a too-small lot size for a tourist home. […]

Crime & Courts

Judge follows jury lead, sentences Smoot to 8 months for manslaughter

According to his criminal record, Smoot, 48, has been charged with 24 separate criminal offenses since 1993 — a few related to the same case — ranging from accusations of malicious wounding to assault and battery while brandishing a weapon to three cases of driving while intoxicated within a five year period. […]

Politics/Government

RappU moving into larger digs; security training to start in Amissville

The Board of Supervisors approved special exception permits for two county “schools,” including RappU, which will move from its Sperryville Trading location; and Risk and Strategic Management (RSM), a security training company based in Manassas, will begin operations in October on its 84-acre property on Shurgen Lane in Amissville. […]

Politics/Government

County administrator says proposed bike trail ‘not without risk’

The public comment period took more than an hour, with remarks ranging from labeling the trail a “boondoggle” to being a great asset for county families. Afterward, County Administrator Garrey Curry provided a cogent explanation about the financial and project management arrangements between the county and other parties in an effort to mitigate risk. […]

Crime & Courts

Judge to decide Smoot’s fate after jury recommends eight months in jail

Before the jury went into deliberation, Judge Parker explained that they had three choices of verdict — not guilty, voluntary manslaughter, or second degree murder. After delivering the verdict, the jury was sent back to determine a sentence. After less than 20 minutes, the jury returned to recommend a sentence of eight months. […]

Public Safety

Rappahannock floodplain maps updated

FEMA representatives will meet with county officials in September to discuss the revised flood hazard information, ordinance adoption, and other frequently asked questions and concerns. After that, citizens will have several months to review the updated maps and appeal any information they feel is inaccurate. […]

Crime & Courts

Day 1 of the Smoot homicide trial

For the first time since Flint Hill resident Randy Smoot was charged with murder in the death of Jonas “Jay” Alther, the community heard the whole story of what happened the night of October 19, 2017, and the morning after. […]

Politics/Government

Integrity of county board member questioned after crude written comment made public

The integrity of a Rappahannock County government official who wrote to a Reva resident to “Go [expletive] yourself and mind your own damn business” was questioned by both a county citizen and supervisor during Monday afternoon’s standing-room-only meeting of the Board of Supervisors. […]

Music

Hallberg set to make beautiful music at Sperryville dulcimer museum

Hallberg, 53, of Jenkins Hollow in Sperryville, had never played the dulcimer before then, but easily got hooked. He’s never taken lessons, but says the dulcimer is easy to learn to play and he’s learned to play by ear. Twenty years later he owns what he calls one of the world’s best collections of Appalachian dulcimers, numbering more than 60 instruments. […]

Land Use/Zoning

Sperryville mural war paints complicated picture before BZA

The BZA this past week expanded its investigation with these questions: Is the BZA a tribunal? What is a legal conclusion and what is a fact? In the absence of clear filing instructions, with whom should a notice of appeal be filed? When is a notice of appeal a pleading? And should the company’s owner, Robert Archer, go to jail. […]