Middle and high school students from around Virginia will compete in a FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying round this Saturday at Prospect Heights Middle School in Orange.

FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier

High school and middle school robotics teams from around Virginia and Maryland will compete locally this weekend for a place at the FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship being held Feb. 22 in Mechanicsville.

The qualifying round will be held 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 18 at Prospect Heights Middle School, 200 Dailey Dr. in Orange. Competitions are fast-paced, fun, full of music and cheering fans. This event is free and open to the public.

With FIRST Tech Challenge, student teams design, build, and program robots to meet a complex engineering challenge, then compete head-to-head against other teams in a high-tech sporting event. With the guidance of adult coaches and mentors, teams build their robots and develop a playing strategy, which includes forming alliances with other teams. Teams earn awards for robot design, creativity, documentation, community outreach, “gracious professionalism” and competition on the field. See for information.

Home Food Preservation Class

Virginia Cooperative Extension of Culpeper County is offering a Home Food Preservation Class 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 at 101 S. West St. in Culpeper.

Participants will learn how to can fruits and vegetables using a pressure canner and water bath canner along with how to make jams and jellies. Class cost is $25 and registration deadline is Jan. 31. To register, contact Becky Sheffield Gartner at 727-3435 ext. 344 or

Bobbin lace history class

Learn about the history of bobbin lace at a special day-long class 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Museum of Culpeper History.

Wind bobbins, set up the pillow, work a cloth stitch and half-stitch and take home handmade lace. Bring a lunch for a 30-minute break. Class fee is $65. To register, call 829-1749.

Game dinner in Orange

The REAL Tree Archers will be hosting a dinner 6 to 8 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 17 at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, 19103 Brick Church Rd. in Orange.

Limited tickets are $10 each and includes dinner and chances for prizes. There will be a contest for best game dish, most unique game dish and best game photo. For information, contact 540/406-7427 or 540/406-1740 or see

Transportation interruption

Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services transportation will not operate this Friday, Jan. 17 and Monday, Jan. 20 in observance of Lee-Jackson Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Montpelier reopens on Saturday

Following its two-week closure for annual routine maintenance, James Madison’s Montpelier will reopen this Saturday, Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend during which tours will be offered every half-hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Specialty tours will include: 10:30 a.m. Saturday-Monday—“Madison and the Constitution”—Guided house tour; 1 p.m. on Saturday—“Journey from Slavery to Freedom”—Free walking/driving tour; and at 1 p.m. Sunday-Monday “Montpelier’s Enslaved Community”—Free walking tour.

Culpeper NAACP annual MLK Remembrance

The NAACP Culpeper Brach #7058 will host its annual service “Honoring the Legacy” of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at noon on Monday, Jan. 20 at historic Antioch Baptist Church, 202 S. West St. in downtown Culpeper.

The Rev. Reese Washington, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Brandy Station, will deliver the message. The Shiloh Youth will present, “We Are the Dream.”

The NAACP Culpeper branch also serves Madison and Rappahannock counties. For information, see

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