Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Morning Buzz — Nov. 19, 2009

A daily digest of what’s going on in Fredericksburg, and what news from elsewhere is relevant here. Send suggestions to

For those who signed up for the Historic Half yesterday, you’ll get a chance to see a truly obsessed half-marathoner tomorrow if you stop by City Hall at 3:30 p.m. A man named Doug Merrill is supposed to meet Mayor Tomzak there as a stop-off on his journey to run from Fenway Park in Boston to Key West, Fla., one half-marathon at a time. The journey started Oct. 4. You can learn more about this here.

Fredericksburg faces a $5 million lawsuit from a King George man who was erroneously arrested twice on city charges, Keith Epps reports today. Rodney Maurice Morton, 42, filed the suit Thursday in federal court in Richmond. Both arrests referred to in the lawsuit occurred when police were really looking for Rodney Lee Morton, a local man with a long criminal record.

I’ve been talking to restaurateurs over the past few days about the city meals tax, which went up from 5 percent to 6 percent in August. Most say the tax draws little notice, but at least one has pointed out that the tax draws the most notice from out-of-towners, the very group Fredericksburg’s tourism efforts are trying to draw in. To a visitor from Northern Virginia, the rate probably does seem high, because most Northern Virginia localities have a meals tax of either 0 or 4 percent. To those coming from Hampton Roads, though, the tax could seem just a tad low, as Norfolk, Newport News, Portsmouth and Hampton all levy a 6.5 percent tax. But after a dinner out, maybe a beverage or two and all the other activity that goes with visiting a new town, do people really notice an extra percentage or two of tax on their bill? Read tomorrow’s paper to see what local restaurants have noticed. 


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