Warren FREE County Report Volume XII, Issue 4 Late February, 2017
S T N E M T INDIC
Page 2 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017
A visit to Front Royal’s Virginia Beer Museum
The Saloon Room, which gives the feeling of a late 19th century wild west saloon By Jessica Baldwin Warren & Frederick County Report What if there was a place where two of your greatest loves in the world were combined? A place where you could grab a beer from a wonderful, local establishment. A place where you can learn the fascinating background story of the delicious brew you’re drinking. Located in historic downtown Front Royal is a business that caters to both of those loves. Since their official grand opening on September 24th of last year, The Vir-
ginia Beer Museum has offered a vast majority of different brews in which can be found all throughout Virginia. Before you even enter the Virginia Beer Museum, a gorgeous sign, custom made in London, England, catches your eye. David Downes, the museum’s owner, discovered a similar sign in southern Virginia. David says the sign gives the exact feel he was looking for, that it screamed out beer history and how rich that history was. The hanging sign, designed by a Strasburg local, is his registered trademark logo.
From left are Reds Downe, David Downe’s wife and bartender Dawn Foley Upon entering the house in the historic district, you’re immediately immersed in history. David offers tours Wednesday through Sunday to teach you about the wonderful Virginia Breweries. The tour starts in the Saloon room, which has the classic feel of a Wild West saloon. Imagine stepping back in time, to the late 19th century and experiencing the rough and tough atmosphere that
most saloons were famous for. David spoke very highly of his business, and was very knowledgeable in beer and the breweries around Virginia. The tour whisks you away, to a time where beer was the staple item of its era. When asked about beer and what has been the most popular item, David explained they frequently rotate the brands of beer so one specific
label of beer is not on tap for a long period of time. After the tour, guests are invited to taste a beer sample of their choice. A lot of beer connoisseurs would enjoy this section of the tour, especially if they would love to try out some new local brews. David expressed that his customers come in with a very open mind, and know that they won’t find the beer they’re drinking at a regular bar or tap house. A new resident to Front Royal, Caleb Heater, was enjoying his visit to the Beer Museum very much. “The museum was a riveting experience. The history is well presented, and it makes an effort to add a local flare, offering Virginia’s role and function prior, during, and after the Prohibition. Additionally, the tasting room was a novelty. It appears to be modeled after a vintage, rustic taproom aesthetic, which further adds to the historical appeal.” Caleb was able to offer a unique touch of insight to visiting this beautiful new establishment. When asked if he would recommend the museum to friends or family, he said, “Absolutely. I have already recommended the museum to numerous family members and friends, and I expect to pay the museum anSee MUSEUM, 4
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Page 4 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017 MUSEUM, from 2 other visit in the near future.” The rear of the building backs up to the businesses behind Main Street, so David has roped off an area with picnic tables for customers to enjoy themselves outside during the nicer evenings. With shade from the trees and plenty of parking, the outside venue is set up for summertime events. After getting a full tour of the museum, we asked David what made him want to open a museum. “It combines my two favorite passions, history and beer. I wanted to do something unique, and through my research, what I had not seen where anywhere in the country is another state beer museum, where a museum has been dedicated to a state’s history of beer. I was able to find out where Anheuser Busch has a museum in St. Lois, but didn’t feel that was a topic of interest to Virginia beer drinkers. I wanted to do something that I thought would be appreciated in the community, and I’m located in the oldest street in Front Royal: Chester Street. I have three very nice museums a stone throw from where we’re standing, in several other historically significant buildings on Chester Street and I just thought it would be a fun thing to do. I like beer, I like
The Virginia Beer Museum is located on historic Chester street in downtown Front Royal. talking about beer, and I like talking about history. I would like to offer the sexy, uncensored version of Virginia history.” David stated the museum was originally open primarily on the weekends, and was unsure whether it would be open in the winter, but with the word spreading like wildfire throughout the town, the locals were quickly catching on to the new experience in their historic town. Da-
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vid decided to expand his hours into the week so the locals would have a hangout to blow off steam and drink some fabulous beers. Along with David, there is a strong team behind him who supports him in this new venture, including his wife, Reds, who is listed as one of the ABC managers; along with many other local attorneys. Of course, where there’s beer, people want food. When asked if he would ever consider selling food to go along with his beer, David said, “At some point. But right now, I want to keep costs down. The problem with food is I have to deal with a different set of inspectors, regulations,
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is free. And what we do is we sell the glass, and the beer is free so we don’t have to get into the issue of selling alcohol, we’re really selling the glass.” “It’s got potential,” David said, after we complimented him on his unique new business. This museum is a wonderful addition to our historic town, and we all wish David the very best in this new venture. – firstname.lastname@example.org
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Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 5
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Repair, Don’t Replace Airport Hangar EDITOR: The Board of Supervisors seems to be completely in the dark concerning the 6 unit “pole barn” hangar. Its tenants are not getting a free deal from the county. The hangar has cost the county nothing except a few minor repairs. Originally, volunteers built the hangar and erected the airport beacon with zero cost to the county. In 1992, the county wanted the hangar moved to make the airport ramp larger. The six tenants paid to move the hangar to its current location. They paid to install electrical service and for 25 years of electricity. Five paid for concrete floors. In total these six tenants paid $82,000+; the county paid zero. In exchange for the hangar, the county gave the tenants reduced rent. This hangar is solid. It needs some minor repairs, but not $50,000 worth, as the commission quoted, but more like $10,000. Some aircraft owners don’t care if they have push button doors, as long as their planes are safe. The county could charge $100 a month for these units and continue making a profit, being assured they would always be leased. This hangar has been profitable for the county since day one. The Airport Commission wants to demolish it and build a pristine hangar for $550,000, not including demolition costs. It will take 18 years before costs are repaid by rents. They plan to tear down a totally profitable hangar for one that will not be profitable for 18 years. Tax-payers should be incensed by this. With all the other areas of need in Warren County, the Supervisors need to rethink this whole issue. Jacquelyn E. Bourque Stokes Airport Rd. Front Royal, VA The Two Faces of Senator Kaine EDITOR: Tim Kaine, during the recent election campaign as running mate of Mrs. Clinton, proclaimed himself to be pro-choice with respect to abortion. Subsequent to the election he has co-sponsored with our
other pro-choice senator, Mark Warner,legislation to overrule President Trump’s Executive Order which banned U.S. taxpayer funds for abortions in foreign countries. On the other hand, Senator Kaine is anti-choice when it comes to education. Rich guys like he get the best private education for their children while opposing choice for ordinary citizens. Was it campaign contributions from the Virginia Education Association (the teachers union), that motivated Kaine’s vote against President Trump’s pick to be Education Secretary, Betsy De Vos? She is pro-choice when it comes to educational opportunity for everyone, not just the rich. Kaine also published in Time an attack on De Vos alleging her insensitivity to persons with disabilities. The irony, that Kaine is okay with killing babies in the womb, yet has a bleeding heart over children with disabilities is not apparent to those who applaud his “courage”in standing up to President Trump. Will pro-life Virginians sit back and do nothing to thwart the re-election of pro-choice/anti-choice Kaine in 2018? Yours truly, Tom McFadden, Sr. Front Royal Lt. Gov. candidate Glenn Davis EDITOR: Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Glenn Davis has traveled the world in an effort to bring new jobs and emerging markets to the commonwealth. In 2016, Davis went to Estonia to cultivate a better understanding of the birth of new developments in robotics and manufacturing. He sees Virginia as the new arena for innovation for the future of America. Davis is committed to reducing the regulatory burden on small businesses in Virginia. For example, as a city councilman in Virginia Beach, he got rid of the Machinery and Tools Tax, which allowed businesses like Stihl to thrive and prosper in the United States. Under the leadership of Davis as Lieutenant Governor, Virginia will be the new home of technology, innovation, and manufacturing jobs. Alex Lemieux Winchester/Richmond
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Lawmakers Poised To Pass First-Ever “Lock-Box” To Protect Transportation Funds In Virginia Historic Raids on Transportation Money Could be Stopped For the first time ever, Virginia lawmakers are poised to take the first step towards the passage of a constitutional amendment that would protect transportation funds, dedicated for the commonwealth’s roads and bridges, from being raided and used for other purposes. On Friday, lawmakers in the Senate will vote on House Joint Resolution 693 (Delegate LaRock) which requires that transportation funds be limited to use for transportation and related purposes only. The measure has already been approved by the House of Delegates. If the amendment passes the full General Assembly this year, the identical language would be voted on by the General Assembly next year before going to voters as a referendum in the fall of 2018. The vote this year is critical and if passed and approved by voters in 2018, the “lock-box” would put an end to historic raids on transportation funds which resulted in a transportation funding crisis that left VA struggling to fund basic maintenance and unable to invest in critical infrastructure. In 2013, after nearly two decades of inaction, Virginia lawmakers passed a substantial and sustainable transportation funding package which ensures that adequate money will be available for the commonwealth’s transportation needs. That is, as long as it used as it was intended! “When transportation funds are taken and used in other areas, our roads and bridges are jeopardized and public trust erodes. As motorists, we all know the damage to our vehicles that can result from poorly-maintained roads. AAA believes that locking transportation money is a natural and critical next step for Virginia,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager Public and Government Affairs for AAA. Failure to properly maintain roads and to invest in improvements and future construction is not just about transportation. Poor roadway systems can impact public safety and the economy. "Virginia is moving forward with responsible transportation investment, delivering long-needed projects and catching up on deferred maintenance. The time has come to ensure that transportation funding is secure so that we can continue our solid progress providing the infrastructure Virginia needs to improve
commerce, safety, and quality of life," noted Delegate Dave A. LaRock, the resolution’s chief patron. Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, Chairwoman of the powerful Senate Privileges and Elections Committee also believes in the effort. “I support this bill and urge my colleagues to pass it. The bill protects transportation and infrastructure funding from diversion to projects of lesser importance. It will ensure that adequate funding remains available to serve the needs of Virginia's drivers for years to come,” the Senator said. Amending Virginia’s constitution, however, is not easy. The measure must first pass out of a single general assembly session. There must then be an intervening election after which the measure is automatically referred to the next year’s session. It must them successfully pass muster with that group of lawmakers before it goes to the public for a vote. That means this amendment would be considered by lawmakers in in the 2018 legislative session and, if approved by voters in the fall of 2018, immediately become part of Virginia’s Constitution. AAA, a strong motorist advocate for over 100 years will continue to work toward that end. “AAA believes that the momentum on this issue this year is a good sign and a solid step towards making a long sought after constitutional amendment possible,” added Meade. “A reliable transportation system is a win-win for all. It allows people to get to work, school and all destinations safely and efficiently.” Meade concluded.
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Page 6 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017
Our Place provides fun for participants, respite for caregivers Program Director asks for more participants to keep the program open and says it’s crucial for families
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Lydia Mahan believes in the absolute necessity of the 13-year-old program called “Our Place”, and wants people to know about it. Our Place offers a friendly, stimulating environment for adults with early to mid-stage memory loss who are unable to be alone during the day. “We are the little gem of a program at risk of closing because we’re not getting the participants we should. People should be flocking to this program because it works and is a nobrainer for families and participants. It’s fun, effective and affordable,” says Mahan. If they don’t get more participants, they will have to close their doors, and that would be sad for them and their caregivers. “It’s crucial for families to know that their loved one is not just sitting in front of the TV all day,’ she said. Leroy Jacobson, whose wife Mauretta, is an active participant, is thrilled with the program. “It’s a godsend. When people live with dementia, they really change. They want to be involved, but when they’re home, they occupy all of your
Lydia Mahan, program coordinator for the Our Place program in Berryville wants everyone to know about how beneficial it is for participants and their caregivers and invites others to join. time,” he said. He said that when he takes Mauretta to Our Place, she has something to do and really enjoys the time she spends there. He also has uninterrupted time to take care of things he has to do. “I don’t understand why people don’t get involved (in Our Place), but I think it might be because they don’t understand the benefits for both of them,” he added. He also speculated that people may be reluctant to put their loved one in a place they’re not sure about and don’t want them to feel abandoned, but if they did some research about it, they would see the benefits. He said that the program is down in numbers and it concerns him. Mauretta has been there for about a year and a half and she’s happy.
Also, he thinks part of the problem is that people don’t know about it. He explained that many older folks are not into computers and don’t go on the internet looking for answers to their problems, but in their case, they were lucky that their daughterin-law heard about it and asked them if they would like to look into it. If something should happen to “Our Place”, we would miss it,” he said. The program, a part of the Shenandoah area Agency on Aging (SAAA) also provides a warm, safe and fun place for others besides the elderly. It works for anyone who meets the criteria that will offer a break to caregivers. For example, a younger person with Down syndrome could be a candidate as well. The requirements are that partici-
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Mauretta Jacobson is happy to be a participant in the “Our Place” program at Crums United Methodist Church in Berryville. “It’s a godsend. If something should happen to the program we would miss it,” said her husband Leroy. pants must be: mobile not completely incontinent have some cognition, with available processing skills The procedure to join the program is like this: the prospective participant and their caregiver come to the center and are assessed to see if they qualify. Someone from SAAA goes to
their home and talks to them to find out what their needs are and how capable they are to participate. They invite participants to visit the center with their caregivers to see if it’s a good match and to see if they will be comfortable there. Mahan said that one of the perks of her job is to come up with creative, interesting and stimulating activities,
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Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 7 and describes it as one that really fulfills a purpose. “The support and feedback from families is absolutely heartfelt. It’s so rewarding to get pats on the back from the people we work with. It’s enormous,” she said. The goal of Our Place, as expressed in their brochure, is to “accept each person as an individual while understanding their challenging needs.” Activities are planned to maximize remaining skills and interests, to exercise the mind and body in ways that may lessen depression and possibly slow down memory loss, along with camaraderie, acceptance, humor and fun, snacks, a hot noon meal and very valuable time with people who care. The maximum number of participants is six, and they’ve had that many, but recently they’ve lost folks whose disease has escalated and new ones haven’t come to replace them. She speculates that people’s caretakers may not know what Our Place is. Some may feel guilty that they’re
A group event has participants joining in with each other at the “Our Place” program Berryville’s Crums United Methodist Church. abandoning their loved one, but after one visit, they can see that it is warm, friendly, fun and astimulating place
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for participants and a vital a respite for both of them. The program, held at Crums United Methodist Church in Berryville is held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day starts with staff, participants and spouses/caregivers getting together for coffee and breakfast snacks, giving them a relaxing time to talk about their day or whatever may be going on with them. After that, participants to work with “brain teasers” like crossword puzzles, mazes, Sudoku or other word puzzles, all chosen for their level of understanding. Participants also play games like cards and Bingo. Often musicians come to visit and entertain. Participants enjoy making seasonal crafts, and a recent one helped feed hungry birds. They made pine cone peanut butter and seed-coated treats that will hang outside on trees. The construction of more sturdy bird feeders is planned for the spring. For Valentine’s Day, they made special cards, and in March, will feast on corned beef and cabbage at a traditional St. Patrick’s Day luncheon.
A participant in the “Our Place” program had fun wearing festive antlers at a recent Christmas gathering. Field trips are part of the varied schedule and they’ve visited an apple orchard to pick apples for pie-making and applesauce. “It’s a challenge because we have different levels of participants, but we identify their strengths and find activities that are fun and stimulating,” said Mahan. She added that the program can be expanded if there is more interest and said it’s very affordable- based on a sliding scale. “I don’t know another social service that is so functional and inexpensive,” she said.
It also gives caregivers a very important break from the 24/7job of taking care of a loved one. For three days a week, Our Place provides: cost-effective dependable care; information and assistance; staff support; peace of mind; and case management. And Annemarie Keenan, who works with folks at Our Place, says, “The benefits are two-fold; for the client who works with us five hours a day and to the caregiver.” She described a festive event from last year. See OUR PLACE, 8
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Page 8 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017 OUR PLACE, from 7 “I got permission to have a Christmas celebration at my home a few minutes away. Each husband brought their wife. I had made a turkey to eat, we exchanged gifts and enjoyed the time from noon to 3:30 that afternoon. We got so much thanks from the husbands, so happy that they could sit with their wives and know what was happening with them and
just enjoy themselves. They were hours of peace and calm for them, knowing their loved one was being cared for at whatever level of dementia they were in. They love coming to us,” she said. “It’s a lifeline. I can’t tell you how important it is. We’ve been lucky to have mostly women who all had husbands who were devoted and cared for them. It makes me happy, it re-
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ally does,” she said, and added, “It’s so helpful for someone to have free time from their loved one, to get a fresh breath, and come back rejuvenated. And Mahan described some of the thinking and emotions that caregivers may have, which she has also experienced. “Burnout is common, so it is crucial for a caregiver to get the care they need, as well as the person being cared for. She was advised by someone when taking care of her 90-year-old father, “You have to be able to live to tell the tale.” This is one of the reasons that care workers at Our Place are available to talk to anyone, at any time and to offer support. She has continued friendships with former participants and their families and has informal consultations on the phone to brainstorm solutions to problems as they come up. She says there’s always a solution and the caregiver may not be able to see it because they’re so close to the person with the problem She said her experience with being her father’s main caregiver for three years was an eye-opening experience and was more difficult than she had thought it would be. Caregivers may feel that they don’t have enough patience and feel guilty about times they’ve been impatient, but the person they’re caring for might not even remember. “That’s the baggage we carry,” she said, and added that it’s easier to care for someone else’s loved one than your own. “I like the elderly population. They’re overlooked. They have a wealth of stories, knowledge and information to impart if we can slow down and listen,” she said. Mahan has had a lot of experience caring for others besides her father. She took in developmentally delayed children in a therapeutic foster program for 16 years and there she learned the patience she didn’t think she had. “When I was younger, I never con-
Ladies get ready for the craft session at “Our Place” in Berryville. sidered myself to be patient, but now I do, even though my sister Amy can still push my buttons,” she said, with a chuckle. She got involved with eldercare when working with Allegiance Home Care in Aldie. She had a wonderful experience and her friendship with a 90-year-old client was a factor in applying for job at Our Place. “I really like to work with this population, not only with elderly folks, but the emotionally challenged as well. The saying, “There but for the Grace of God, go I” is one that she applies with sympathy for all. She has nothing but praise for the spouses of their participants, calling them, “amazing, so loving and gentle.” She is also grateful for the folks
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Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 9
Front Royal Town Council to set aside $400,000 for extensive road repairs By Timothy Ratigan Warren & Frederick County Report Front Royal Town Council met on February 6th and 13th to discuss and pass an agenda item to set aside funds for the upkeep and maintenance of roads throughout the town of Front Royal. During the February 6th work session, the Director of Environmental Services, Jimmy Hannigan, presented the council with a budget request for funds to start applying “slurry” to some of the secondary roads in and around Front Royal. Slurry is an aggregate emulsion mix in which materials are loaded and mixed on a truck, then applied to the street surface in one shot. It doesn’t need to be rolled and nothing else needs to be applied. The product is water-based and comes out wet. There is normally a one hour waiting period before traffic is allowed to travel over the surface, but temperatures can affect the wait
time. There is some possible prep work, including sweeping, pothole repairs, or repairing significantly failing areas. There is normally some cleanup afterwards of the excess aggregate after traffic runs on it. The proposal requests over $400,000 funding for the project. Vice Mayor Eugene Tewalt, who is in favor of the installation of slurry on secondary roads, started the discussion in the work session, “I’ve brought this forward because we haven’t done anything to the streets for quite a while. We’ve done our primary roads but we haven’t done anything to our secondary roads. Part of my degree in civil engineering is streets. So if we can get in there and slurry seal, type C which is a little coarser, then you can save a lot of these streets from major repair until later. That is why I would like to see us consider it, whether it is the list Jimmy has put together or another list. We may need (to seal)
streets that are not on this list.” Tewalt went on to point out what he called a major street that was in need of slurry sealing. “The major one I see is Kendrick Lane. That one portion is in terrible shape. We are going to lose it if we get a major snow storm or a lot of cold weather with a lot of freezing and thawing. I would like to propose that we take the … remaining money we got from the county from the corridor for the meals and lodging taxes and include that with another $300,000 and get this thing moving.” Tewalt also wanted to add the next county payment, scheduled in July, to this project as well. He added, “We talk about getting Front Royal looking decent but the one thing that makes the town look shabby is our streets. If you have streets that look nice, then the town is going to look better.” Hannigan presented the council with a potential list of secondary roads that need work on them, in-
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cluding: Biggs Dr.; Robinhood Lane; W. Commonwealth Ave.; Ashlawn Ct.; Mt. Vernon Ct.; Colonial Dr.; Walker Ave.; Lakeview Dr.; Canterbury St.; Nottingham Ct.; Buckingham Ct.; Westminster Rd.; Windsor Ct.; Jamestown Rd.; Charles St.; Marshall St.; Manassas Ave.; Braxton Rd.; and Kendrick Lane. Councilwoman Bébhinn Egger asked Hannigan if the list was in any sort of order or priority. Hannigan replied that the list was not in any sort of order of priority. Tewalt also pointed out that if the street is not heavily used then the town should be able to get a good 15 to 20 years use out of the slurry treatment before anything more would need to be done to that road. He explained, “If you get a street with a lot of traffic such as Stonewall Drive or James Town Road you will get less time/use from the slurry treatment but again it is well worth the money you would spend. If you are going to asphalt these roads than you better add another $2 million on top of what you are spending.” Councilman John Connolly asked if the project was going to wait until the full funding was available or if they would start with what funds the council has available now. Tewalt explained the town would need to set up the schedule now. “We can start setting up the schedule now and when the next year’s budget passes we can probably finish with the additional funds coming from the budget and the money paid from the county. We should finish in early fall. You don’t want to wait until late fall when the weather starts to get cold.” Mayor Hollis Tharpe added, “This plan actually shows the residents
who haven’t seen anything done to their streets in years we are getting back into the streets where they live.” The Mayor then asked this to be moved forward to the next council meeting agenda to take place on February 13th. At the February 13th town council meeting, the council opened the agenda item up for discussion and Councilman Tewalt reiterated his desire to move the Slurry project along to the secondary roads. “This is something I brought forward and I really think we need to look at our streets in Front Royal…. I believe we need to put a lot of money, and I do mean a lot of money into our streets because they have been neglected for quite some time. It behooves us as councilmen/women if we want to get Front Royal looking decent we need to take care of our maintenance of our streets. Being an ex-public works director here in Front Royal I know that our streets need a lot of attention. I hope the council will support this tonight. We are taking $300,000 out of our general fund and then we are taking money we received from the county, this will equal to $400,000. If this passes tonight we will have $400,000 that we can use to work towards getting our streets in a better condition for our general public as well as for the people who come into Front Royal.” With no one else adding to the discussion the Mayor called for a vote and the measure passed at a 6-0 vote. – firstname.lastname@example.org Now Hiring Ad Sales Reps in Winchester and Frederick County
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Page 10 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017
Front Royal nixes headhunter option for next town manager
Councilman Jacob Meza reacts to a comment from Vice Mayor Eugene Tewalt during discussion on hiring a new Town Manager. By Timothy Ratigan Warren & Frederick County Report At the February 6th Front Royal Town Council Work Session, consultants and outside firms seemed to be the topics of the night. On the night’s agenda was a discussion on the hiring of Front Royal’s new town manager. The council was expected to vote Monday February 13, at their regularly scheduled council meeting, to approve or reject a contract with Springsted Inc. to conduct a search for the next manager of Front Royal. The cost of such a search is set at $21,000. Joseph Waltz, the interim town manager, reported that the staff had chosen Springsted Inc. to conduct the search. The town has used this firm several times in the past in their search for town managers. “Everything is in line for engaging Springsted in the search. The only thing we will need is to make sure that we have the final job description,” Waltz reported. However not
everyone was on board with the idea of having an outside firm selecting the town’s next manager. Vice Mayor Eugene Tewalt, who is also a veteran council member and former Mayor, voiced his concerns just minutes prior to the end of the work session. Tewalt has been a long supporter of an internal search with the direction and assistance of the Human Resource Department. Referring to council appointee Chris Morrison, he asked, “Now that Chris
is on board, can we agree to discuss this? I am still not in agreement with bringing on Sprinsted. We used them three or four times in the past. When are we going to put this on the agenda?” Councilwoman Bébhinn Egger quipped, “I thought you didn’t want to be here until midnight,” drawing laughter from the other council members. Mayor Hollis Tharpe expressed that the council had already reached a consensus on the consult-
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ing firm and that the matter was going to be on the next council meeting agenda to vote on. Egger reminded Tewalt that they will have an opportunity to discuss it further at the meeting when it is brought up. Tewalt continued to express his concerns by saying that he was not in favor of using Sprinsted due to their performance in the last few times the town used the firm. He expressed his opinion that the firm did not deliver enough precise details on previous consulting ventures. He said, “I think we can do this on our own. And again experience doesn’t seem to mean anything to anybody.” Freshman Councilman Jacob Meza took offense to Tewalt’s comment about experience not meaning anything to anybody and immediately fired back at the Veteran Councilman and former Mayor by replying “Don’t make blanket statements like that.” “Why not? Tewalt fired back. “Because it’s rude, Meza replied. Tewalt lobbed back, defending his statement, “I’ve gone through these things four times at least with this firm and they, (speaking about Sprinsted) have not brought forward any good clientele in the past.” With the majority of the council agreeing on the path of hiring a consultant, Tewalt made one last effort to sidetrack Sprinsted by suggest-
ing the council look elsewhere if the council was indeed committed to going with an outside consulting firm. Another item for discussion was on the Compensation and Classification Study. In January, the town staff met with Paypoint HR, a consulting firm out of Davidson Maryland, to discuss their proposal of services, including scope of work and projected time line. The Interim Town Manager Joseph Waltz was available for the discussion. For the last year the Council has been working with the town staff to come up with a solution to the situation that the town has found themselves in. The Town of Front Royal has battled with the fact that they are losing employees to surrounding jurisdictions for higher pay especially in the law enforcement area. In an effort to bring those salaries up to a competitive range the council has directed town staff to seek out alternatives to study the problem and come up with solutions. Interim Town Manager Waltz started out by saying that the presentation that Paypoint HR gave was very impressive however he stressed that the study was planned for 16 weeks long and that the firm may not have anything to report until sometime in late April if at all and probably would be too late to implement any of the recommendations for this fiscal year’s budget
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Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 11 talks. During the last budget session the council found themselves in the position of handing out pay raises something that Councilman Meza did not want to do again. Vice Mayor Tewalt was one of the first members of council to address some concerns he has with the process that Paypoint HR is proposing. “I would like to see them come in because I have some questions as to how they are going to set up evaluation process. We’ve tried a performance rating system years ago and it just didn’t just work.” Meza jumped in and reminded Tewalt that this is not a performance rating set up. He stated, “This is a compensation analysis, this is not going to be about how we are going to decide to give raises. They will give us a frame work as to how to do the
performance evaluation so that we will know how much we should be increasing their salary.” Councilman John Connolly added his opinion by saying, “What Jake has been talking about and I’ve been wondering about is when these requests for raises come in a lot of the justification for these raises thus far has been that our compensation is not or has not been as competitive as surrounding communities and we are losing talent to other communities because we are not competing as well on the salary side. What this is hopefully going to do is tell us where are we right now because thus far all we’ve seen is a statement saying that we are not competitive and we are losing employees. You know and I know that we are never going to be
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able to compete with Manassas or Fairfax. But it is going to look at similar localities.” Meza continue to add his input, “We need to know if it is right where it is supposed to be based on their job description for that employee to do comparable to other employees within other organizations. If it is not and let’s say its $50,000 off or not that far off then we will know we need to create a plan to get us there and bring our employees to that grading that is comparable to what we are asking them to do. Now it’s not going to happen the next day but we do need to get on a plan to get all of our employees/positions into an equitable market so that going forward we can say, here is our performance ratings and our performance evaluations, taking out the arguments that have been in the past such as I’m not fairly paid for my job therefore I should be getting a $10,000 raise to bring myself up to the market level. We will already have the standards defined and going forward will be just simply whether or not we are going to be doing merit increase raises based on performance. But this is just the frame work that has to be done in order to give us the foundation for performance placement.” Meza also stated that he was not comfortable as a councilman giving out raises like the council did last year. “I want this to stop being the argument for not giving out raises. I want to do this analysis and figure out if we are ahead or behind. I want to make sure our job descriptions match what we are paying our employees and know that we work to support all of our employees. I want our employees to know going forward year after year that we are paying them for the job we are asking them to do. I don’t want us as a town
Newly Appointed Councilman Chris Morrison attends his first Town Council Work Session. council to be sitting here and arguing over raises year in and year out. The employees will know that their raises are tied to a merit increase based on if they performed to the standard or they didn’t. Then they are in charge of their future and whether or not they get pay raises or not. That is my goal. My goal is to remove council from the decision making process on whether or not our employees are getting raises.” Connolly stressed that the process is mainly due to talent retention saying, “We spend a lot of town resources on highly specialized training that goes into the professions such as law enforcement. People come and get all the training and get all the certification and we spend hundreds of hours dealing with that to see them walk to another municipality, even a neighboring one hurts us a bit. This process will simply add to the tool box that will help our staff give us something to hang our hat on as far as a justification for rewarding our
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employees and hopefully this will give us that kind of foundation stone to have a consistent pay scale.” New Councilman Chris Morrison wanted to know what the council was going to get for their $25,000. Waltz replied, “It is going give us up to date job descriptions, how we compare to other localities around us. It will identify localities that we will want to look at. It will also give us that salary range that we should be at. We need reset.” When Morrison asked what the endgame was when this data is collected by Paypoint HR Waltz replied. “The endgame is we can retain talent, quality talent and our turnover rate will be cut back.” Councilman Bill Sealock added to the discussion by saying, “I agree that there has to be some sort of logic, more than what there was last year. I didn’t agree with the way the raises were done last year at all.” The vote for the compensation and classification study will be on the next council meeting agenda for vote.
Page 12 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017
INDICTMENTS 2017 January Indictments – January Term Kristopher Tryshan Deal The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about September 14, 2016, in the County of Warren, Kristopher Tryshan Deal, age and address unavailable, did unlawfully and feloniously sell or distribute an imitation controlled substance which imitates a Schedule I controlled substance, to-wit: Heroin. Sarina Ann Bryson The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Sarina Ann Bryson, age and address unavailable, with two counts. COUNTS ONE and TWO: In the County of Warren, Sarina Ann Bryson did unlawfully and feloniously distribute a Schedule II controlled substance, to-wit: Cocaine. Dates of the offenses were on or about June 23 and 29, 2016. Kymberly Sue Myers The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about August 9, 2016, in the County of Warren, Kymberly Sue Myers, age and address unavailable, did unlawfully and feloniously distribute a Schedule I controlled substance, towit: Heroin. Sarah Gladys Moon The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Sarah Gladys Moon, age and address unavailable, with three counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren, Sarah Gladys Moon did unlawfully and feloniously take steal, and carry away the goods and chattels of Target with a value of less than $200.00. COUNT TWO: did, without authority, trespass or remain upon the property of Target after having been forbidden to do so by an authorized individual. COUNT THREE: did unlawfully and feloniously, with the intention of converting goods and merchandise to her own use without having paid the full price thereof, willfully conceal or take possession of the goods or merchandise of Wal-Mart, having a value of $200.00 or more. Date of the offenses was on or about July 23 and 26, 2016. Brittany Desire Folks The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about November 23, 2016, in the County of Warren, Brittany Desire Folks, age and address unavailable, did unlawfully take steal, and carry away the goods and chattels of Zayna House with a value of $200.00, or more. John Clyde Miller The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on
or about September 22, 2016, in the County of Warren, John Clyde Miller, age and address unavailable, did unlawfully and feloniously distribute a Schedule II controlled substance, towit: methamphetamine, this being a second or subsequent offense, and said prior conviction occurring prior to the date alleged in this indictment. Megan Marie McNall The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about August 4, 2016, in the County of Warren, Megan Marie McNall, age and address unavailable, did unlawfully and feloniously distribute a Schedule I controlled substance, towit: Heroin. DaShawn Lee Edwards The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about August 4, 2016, in the County of Warren, DaShawn Lee Edwards, 21, address unavailable, did unlawfully and feloniously distribute a Schedule I controlled substance, towit: Heroin, this being a second or subsequent offense, and said prior conviction occurring prior to the date alleged in this indictment. Joseph John Heath The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Joseph John Heath, 26, address unavailable, with two counts. COUNTS ONE and TWO: In the County of Warren, Joseph John Heath did unlawfully and feloniously distribute a Schedule II controlled substance, to-wit: hy-
dromorphone, this being a third or subsequent offense, said prior convictions occurring prior to the date alleged in this indictment. Dates of the offenses were on or about March 8 and 30, 2016. Michael Anthony Beaty The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Michael Anthony Beaty, 19, address unavailable, with two counts. COUNTS ONE and TWO: In the County of Warren, Michael Anthony Beaty did unlawfully and feloniously distribute a Schedule I controlled substance, to-wit: Heroin. Dates of the offenses were on or about September 11 and 30, 2016. Nekia Danielle Martin The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about December 19, 2016, in the County of Warren, Nekia Danielle Martin, 26, of 124 Shenandoah Ave., Front Royal, VA 22630, did unlawfully and feloniously assault and batter Correctional Officer Gerson Ivan Flores, then knowing or having reason to know that said Correctional Officer Gerson Ivan Flores was then engaged in the performance of his public duties as a correctional officer. Karen Sue Kerns The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about September 24, 2016, in the County of Warren, Karen Sue Kerns, 56, of 48 Gardner Lane, Front Royal, VA 22630, did unlawfully take steal,
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and carry away a firearm belonging to William Flanagan. Philip Matthew Held The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about September 9, 2016, in the County of Warren, Philip Matthew Held, 43, of 1596 Blue Mountain Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630, having previously been convicted of a sexually violent offense, did unlawfully and feloniously and knowingly fail to register or re-register with the Sex Offender and Crimes against Minors Registry. Garriel Lee Brill The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about September 19, 2016, in the County of Warren, Garriel Lee Brill, 50, of 3625 Howellsville Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630, did unlawfully and feloniously possess a Schedule I controlled substance, to-wit: Heroin. Howard Stephen Jefferson The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Howard Stephen Jefferson, 26, of 616 W. 11th St., Front Royal, VA 22630, with two counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren, Howard Stephen Jefferson did unlawfully, feloniously and maliciously cause bodily injury to Katelyn Santmyers, a family or household member, by punching and kicking her with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill said Katelyn Santmyers. COUNT TWO: did unlawfully and feloniously assault and batter Katelyn Santmyers, a family
or household member, having been previously convicted of assault and battery against a family or household member within twenty years of this second or subsequent offense, and that each such assault and battery occurred on different dates. Date of the offenses was on or about December 3, 2016 Mary Dorothea Bowman The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about December 1, 2016, in the County of Warren, Mary Dorothea Bowman, 68, of P.O. Box 491, Somerset VA 22972, did unlawfully and feloniously, with the intention of converting goods and merchandise to her own use without having paid the full price thereof, willfully conceal or take possession of the goods or merchandise of Wal-Mart, having previously been convicted of larceny or an offense deemed as larceny two or more times. Heather Marie Knight The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about October 26, 2016, in the County of Warren, Heather Marie Knight, 34, of 644 W. 11th St., Front Royal, VA 22630, did unlawfully and feloniously, take steal, and carry away the goods and chattels of 7-11 with a value of less than $200.00. Brian Keith Walker The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Brian Keith Walker, 49, address unavailable, with two counts. COUNTS
Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 13 ONE and TWO: In the County of Warren, Brian Keith Walker, did unlawfully take steal, and carry away the goods and chattels of Lowes with a value of $200.00, or more. Dates of the offenses were on or about October 31 and November 3, 2016. Sean Antoine Reaves The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Sean Antione Reaves, 37, of Rocky Knob Lane, Lorton, VA 22079, with two counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren, Sean Antoine Reaves did unlawfully and feloniously possess a Schedule II controlled substance, to-wit: methamphetamine. COUNT TWO: did unlawfully possess controlled paraphernalia for the illegal administration of controlled substances. Date of the offenses was on or about December 2, 2015. Patrick Lloyd Boley The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about October 20, 2016, in the County of Warren, Patrick Lloyd Boley, 18, of 315 Cabin Ct., Front Royal, VA 22630, did unlawfully and feloniously communicate a threat in writing to kill or do bodily injury to a person on the grounds or premises of an elementary, middle or secondary school property. Ronald David Robinette, III The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about August 28, 2016, in the County
of Warren, Ronald David Robinette, III, 20, of 181 Acres Rd., Ridgeway, VA 24148, did unlawfully and feloniously possess a Schedule II controlled substance, to-wit: methamphetamine. Alisha Marie Stocking The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about May 24, 2016, in the County of Warren, Alisha Marie Stocking, 20, address unavailable, did unlawfully and feloniously possess a Schedule I controlled substance, to-wit: Heroin. Franklin D. Rose, Jr. The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Franklin D. Rose, Jr., age and address unavailable, with two counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren, Franklin D. Rose, Jr. did unlawfully and feloniously conspire to manufacture methamphetamine. COUNT TWO: Franklin D. Rose, Jr. did unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, methcathinone or amphetamine, possess two or more of the following substances: pseudoephedrine and loratadine, lithium and ammonium nitrate, or a drug or product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine or any of their salts, optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers. Date of the offenses was on or about January 7, 2016. Spencer Brent Cave The Warren County Va. Circuit
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Jennifer Rose Nicholson The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Jennifer Rose Nicholson, age and address unavailable, with two counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren Jennifer Rose Nicholson did unlawfully and feloniously conspire to manufacture methamphetamine. COUNT TWO: Jennifer Rose Nicholson did unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, methcathinone or amphetamine, possess two or more of the following substances: pseudoephedrine and loratadine, lithium and ammonium nitrate, or a drug or product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine or any of their salts, optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers. Date of the offenses was on or about January 7, 2016. Layton Harrison Foster The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Layton Harrison Foster, age and address unavailable, with two counts. COUNT
ONE: In the County of Warren, Layton Harrison Foster did unlawfully and feloniously conspire to manufacture methamphetamine. COUNT TWO: Layton Harrison Foster did unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, methcathinone or amphetamine, possess two or more of the following substances: pseudoephedrine and loratadine, lithium and ammonium nitrate, or a drug or product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine or any of their salts, optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers. Date of the offenses was on or about January 7, 2016. Cortez O’Quail Robinson The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Cortez O’Quail Robinson, 22, of 420 Kerfoot Ave., Front Royal, VA 22630, with two counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren, Cortez O’Quail Robinson did unlawfully and feloniously possess with the intent to distribute a Schedule I controlled substance, to-wit: Heroin. COUNT TWO: being guardian for, or person having custody of a child under the age of eighteen years, did willfully or negligently cause or permit such child to be placed in a situation where its life, health or morals may be endangered. Date of the offenses was on or about September 7, 2016. Brian Hampton Hogan The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Brian Hampton Hogan, 21, of 3630 Kendrick Lane, #59, Front Royal, VA 22630, with two counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren, Brian Hampton Hogan did unlawfully and feloniously possess with the intent to distribute a Schedule I controlled substance, to-wit: Heroin. COUNT
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TWO: being guardian for, or person having custody of a child under the age of eighteen years, did willfully or negligently cause or permit such child to be placed in a situation where its life, health or morals may be endangered. Date of the offenses was on or about September 7, 2016. David James Thompson The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges that: on or about October 26, 2016, in the County of Warren, David James Thompson, 32, of 644 W. 11th St., Front Royal, VA 22630, did unlawfully and feloniously, take steal, and carry away the goods and chattels of 7-11 with a value of less than $200.00. Wesley Kenneth Gough The Warren County Va. Circuit Court Grand Jury charges Wesley Kenneth Gough, 18, of 119 W. 13th St., Front Royal, VA 22630, with three counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren, Wesley Kenneth Gough did unlawfully and feloniously obtain, by false pretense or token from any person, with intent to defraud, money or other property, which may be the subject of larceny, having a value of $200.00 or more. COUNT TWO: In the County of Warren, Wesley Kenneth Gough did unlawfully and feloniously conspire, confederate or combine with another, either within or without this Commonwealth, specifically to feloniously obtain United States Currency or other property valued at more than $200.00 by false pretenses. COUNT THREE: did unlawfully and feloniously buy or receive from another, or aid in concealing, any stolen goods or other thing having a value of $200.00 or more, knowing the same to have been stolen. Date of the offenses was on or about October 31, 2016.
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Court Grand Jury charges Spencer Brent Cave, 20, of 48 W. Main St., #103, Luray, VA 22835 with two counts. COUNT ONE: In the County of Warren, Spencer Brent Cave did unlawfully and feloniously conspire to manufacture methamphetamine. COUNT TWO: did unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, methcathinone or amphetamine, possess two or more of the following substances: pseudoephedrine and loratadine, lithium and ammonium nitrate, or a drug or product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine or any of their salts, optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers. Date of the offenses was on or about January 7, 2016.
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Warren County Report
Kelly’s Survivor Luncheon Feb. 18
Kelly’s Survivor Luncheon began in February, 2008 by Kelly Williams, the FR/WC Relay For Life (RFL) Survivor chair at that time. Being a survivor herself, Kelly wanted to celebrate our community’s survivors and offer them a place to come together for fellowship, a time to share their stories to find comfort, and an introduction them to a support group to gain strength in each other. The event began as a tea but has since grown into a luncheon, and our survivors look forward to this special event each year. Although Kelly lost her fight in November, 2008, we continue this event in Kelly’s memory and honor her and all survivors and their determination to continue the fight! This year the Survivor’s Luncheon will be on February 18, 2017. It will be at 12 noon in the Riverton United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. RSVP to Emily Dodson at 540-6718994. Leave a message or email Emily
2017 Friends Of NRA Banquet! Bring your family and friends and enjoy good food, great prizes and an evening of fun at the Northern Valley Friends of NRA dinner on Saturday, March 4th. In addition to great prizes, you will have the chance at a live auction of commemorative firearms and unique merchandise. Proceeds from the event will be used to promote the future of the shooting sports all across Virginia. Don’t miss this special Friends of NRA event on Saturday, March 4th at 5:30-10:00 PM at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, Front Royal, VA. To buy tickets or for more information, go to www. friendsofnra.org or call Dick or Dolly Mason at 540-635-9424 today! WCHS student charged with making bomb threats On Wednesday, February 8, 2017
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at approximately 2:00 p.m., Warren County Sheriff ’s Office School Resource Deputy Paul Brenner, met with Administrators from Skyline High School in regards to a juvenile student who had allegedly discussed bringing explosive devices to school later in the week. The student was questioned by a Deputy Brenner and was subsequently subjected to an emergency custody order to be evaluated by mental health professionals. Warren County Sheriff ’s Office Criminal Investigations Division was notified and Investigator Jason Bates took the lead on the case. The juvenile was charged with VA Code 18.283 Threats to Bomb, a class 5 felony and was taken into custody and held at the Northwestern Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Warren County Deputies searched Skyline and Warren County High Schools on the evening of February 8th as a precaution and located nothing out of the ordinary. Anyone with further information regarding this case can contact Investigator Bates at (540) 635-7100 or (540) 635-4218.
also was chief of staff for six years for former Republican congressman and senator, the late Edward Gurney of Florida. Martin also served as a member of President George W. Bush’s health and human services transition team. We will also have as our forum guest speakers, Delegate Glen Davis and Senator Bryce Reeves both Republican candidates for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Tickets are $50 each and $75 per couple. Please call 540-974-3768 or email email@example.com for more info. We need a final push for ticket sales
and sponsorship opportunities. – Stephen Kurtz Charges placed in relation to VFW Post 1860 fire On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, Detectives of the Front Royal Police Department, assisted by the Warren County Fire Marshal, executed three sealed indictments for crimes related to the Colonel Samuel R. Millar Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1860 on a former employee. Lesley Rose Deavers, 56, of Rugby
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Warren County Republican Committee Lincoln Dinner Ladies and Gentlemen, Come one, come all! Please come and join us in celebrating Lincolns Birthday on March 2nd! We are honored to have as our keynote speaker, James L Martin, a 77-year-old veteran of the US Marines and CEO of 60 Plus Association. Martin has previously led several conservative advocacy groups, and
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By Timothy Ratigan Warren & Frederick County Report On February 6th, at the Allstate Insurance Agency on 326 North Royal Avenue in Front Royal, Warren County Sheriff Danny McEathron met with Allstate Insurance Agent Jennifer Brady Smith to accept an unusual donation: several dozen teddy bears of all shapes and sizes. The bears were given by Smith and her staff, as well as other members of the community.
Warren County Sheriff Danny McEathron stands next to Allstate Insurance Agent Jennifer Brady Smith with two examples of the handmade teddy bears donated to the Sheriff Office.
Smith stated, “We have collected the teddy bears for the Sheriff ’s Office to be able to share with little kids for any reason at all. If they’ve been involved in a car accident or anything else where there has been a child involved. The teddy bear might put a smile on their face. That is what these teddy bears are for.” Smith got the idea from her predecessor Carol Goddard and has been following her example for the last year. Originally she had just collected the bears and given them out to
children in need over the years. But when she heard that the Sheriff ’s Office did the same thing she decided to help them out ant donate the bears to them. Some of the donated bears were even hand made by local Front Royal high school student, Alayna Cornell. The Sheriff and other members of the Warren County Sheriff Office were on hand to “take the bears into custody.” – email@example.com
Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 15 Street, Front Royal was arrested on one count of embezzlement and two counts of arson. She is currently being held without bond at the RSW Regional Jail pending an initial court appearance on Thursday morning. On July 3, 2015, Front Royal officers responded to a burglary alarm at 1847 North Royal Avenue (VFW Post 1860). On arrival and further investigation it was found that numerous items had been tampered with as well as several thousand dollars missing from the establishment. Investigation into this issue continued
until July 11, 2015 when Front Royal Police and Warren County Fire/Rescue responded to the VFW Post for a reported fire. The fire incident resulted in a total loss of the structure. An intense 18-month investigation continued as a joint operation involving the following entities: Front Royal Police, Warren County Department of Fire & Rescue Services, Warren County Sheriff ’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol-Tobacco-Firearms and Explosives, Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s Office, Loudon County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Fo-
citizens of our community. Warren County Community Center The Warren County Community Center will close at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2017 to the general public, so the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department can host their Father Daughter Valentine Dance for registered participants. The Community Center will reopen, Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Business License Renewal Town Business License Renewals are due to the Town’s Finance Department March 1, 2017. If you have any questions or concerns please the Finance Department at (540)635-7799, Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm or in their office Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm at 102 E. Main Street.
Holiday Closing The Town of Front Royal Business Offices will be closed on Monday, February 20, 2017, in observance of President’s Day. Trash and recycling for Monday, February 20 will be collected Wednesday, February 22, 2017. Markham St Storm Drain Repair Beginning Monday, February 27, 2017, Markham Street will be CLOSED from Walker Avenue to Lake Avenue from 8:30am – 2:30pm for storm drain repairs and improvements. Weather permitting, repairs and improvements should be completed by March 17, 2017. Motorists are asked to use caution while driving in this area and be aware of crews working. More info: Department of Environmental Services (540)635-7819. See WARREN, 16 ai
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rensic Audit Division of the BATFE. During the course of the investigation, an additional case was opened relating to the embezzlement of monies of approximately $100,000. Today, the results of this lengthy and involved investigation culminated in the arrest of Deavers. The VFW Post 1860 has been a fixture and meeting place for our veterans as well as the surrounding area for many years. With this arrest and the following court proceedings, all entities involved hope for closure in an incident that affected numerous
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Page 16 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017 WARREN, from 15 New interactive GIS mapping applications available for public use The Warren County Planning Department is excited to announce the launch of a collection of interactive GIS mapping applications now available for public use. Currently featured on the site’s landing page are the following: A recreation application consisting of parks, boat landings, recreation areas, and trail systems in Warren County A find-your-school application that enables a user to search for a street or address and locate the associated elementary, middle, and high school Interactive guided tours including plans, pictures, descriptions, and mapping of: Current major County projects in progress The County’s current FY2016/17 Capital Improvement Plan Warren County/Front Royal’s Royal Shenandoah Greenway You can view the landing page for the applications at: warrencountyva. maps.arcgis.com. These interactive mapping applications are a great way to locate county resources and gain knowledge of the plans, projects, and opportunities in our community. Each application offers additional functionality such as direct links to websites, photos, and documents through interacting with features displayed on the maps. According to Doug Sexton, Warren County’s GIS Coordinator, “This technology enables us to leverage continuously updated GIS data to supply citizens, businesses, and visitors of Warren County with helpful and informative resources through these applications. We are excited about additional applications currently in development that will be added to the site in the future.” There will be a link to the webpage off of the County’s main website at www.warrencountyva.net. For questions on the project or how to access the data call Doug Sexton at (540) 636-3354 or firstname.lastname@example.org Poetry Reading and Open Mic Celebrate Diversity in Front Royal To celebrate National Poetry Month, Selah Theatre will host Sharing Our Truths: Voices of Diversity, an evening of poetry and stories on Saturday, April 1 at 7:00 PM. The reading is a chance for community members to come together and share their perspectives on how we can be more united as a nation while celebrating our diversity and our long tradition of free speech. The event will feature three area writers—José Padua, LaTasha Do’Zia-Earley, and Edward Zahniser—and will be followed by an open mic. Readers are invited to share poems, stories, and songs about their experiences as Americans and their
hopes for the future. Members of marginalized and minority communities are especially encouraged to participate. Says Selah Theatre founder La Tasha Do’ziaEarly, “This is a chance for community members to share their personal stories and speak out in support of diversity, free expression, and other core American values that hold us together.” The event will be a “safe space” and will honor the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Featured readers: José Padua has published poetry and fiction in Bomb, Salon.com, Exquisite Corpse, Another Chicago Magazine, Up is Up, but So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992, and many other journals and anthologies. His personal essays, features, and reviews have also appeared in Salon.com, Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry, The Weeklings.com, The Good Men Project, Sensitive Skin Magazine, Gargoyle, the NYPress, the Washington City Paper, the Brooklyn Rail, and the New York Times. He’s read his work at the Lollapalooza Festival, CBGBs, the Knitting Factory, the Nuyorican Poets’ Café, the Black Cat Club, and many other venues. In 2014, he won the New Guard’s Knightville Poetry Prize for my poem “Seven and Seven Is.” La Tasha Do’zia-Earley is the Founding Artistic Director of Selah Theatre Project in Front Royal teaching and reaching over 650 young actors in many venues throughout the Winchester area. She has served as a preschool director, a Big Sister and foster parent. La Tasha is not a stranger to the stage. She is an accomplished performer with credits in both Regional and Community Theatre, including the Other Voices Theatre, Theatre of Shenandoah, Sandler
Performing Arts Center, the Apollo Civic Theater, Winchester Little Theater, Ohrstrom-Bryant Theater and The Kennedy Center . She has been seen in productions such as Avenue Q (Gary Coleman), The Miracle Worker (Viney), Chicago (Mama Matron Morton), Hairspray (Motormouth), Necessary Targets (J.S. Bach) and From Prison to Stage. Her directoral credits include Laramie Project, Vagina Monologues, The Colored Museum, Annie Jr., School House Rock, Jr., Around the World in Eight Plays, A Seussariffic Christmas Carol and Steel Magnolias. Ed Zahniser lives in Shepherdstown, WV. His poetry appears in five chapbooks, 10 anthologies, and five books, including Mall-hopping with the Great I AM (Somondoco Press, 2006) and At the End of the Self-help Rope (Scarith Press, 2016). He has edited poetry for Wilderness, Artz & Kulchur of the Mountain State, Antietam Review, and the Good News Paper, which he cofounded in 1979. He has recorded for “The Poet and the Poem” Library of Congress archive and is listed in Poets & Writers Directory as a poet and fiction writer. He edited and wrote many prose books on national parks, wilderness, and U.S. conservation history. He was formerly senior editor and writer for the National Park Service Publications Group. Selah Theatre is located at 30 E. 8th Street, Front Royal, VA (http://www. selahtheatreproject.org). A reception with food and drink will follow the event. For more information, please email email@example.com. About Selah Theatre The mission of Selah Theatre Project is to empower, educate, and enlighten our community with theatrical opportunities that encourage conversations and have a positive impact. Each year, Selah reaches more than 650 children and families through main stage productions, arts education, and youth development programs. Selah Theatre Project
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computer, using a mouse, setting up email and using the internet. Classes are held on Tuesdays from 1:00pm2:00pm and start on March 7th. Exploring Computers: Samuel Public Library invites you to attend our intermediate computer class and improve your skills. Each month explore a new computer program or application in a safe, friendly environment with other intermediate computer users. Classes are held on Thursdays at 1:00pm. March will be focused on Microsoft Word. Crochet Group: Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and learn how to crochet or share your talents. The group will meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 10am (March 8th and 22nd). All ability levels welcome. Early American Period Dancing: Samuels Public Library invites you to join the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Era Dancers for an evening of fun and dancing Thursday, March 9th. All ability levels welcome - even those with two left feet! Chairs are
Samuels Public Library Adult Programming for March 2017 330 E Criser Rd Front Royal, Va 22630, 540-635-3153 ext. 105 www. samuelslibrary.net General Education Development: Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the General Education Development course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 A.M-12:30 P.M (except on school holidays or closings). The GED course is completely free. Let this course be the stepping stone to your success. Hello Computer: Samuels Public Library invites you to attend our beginning computer class for total computer novices. It is a four week course that covers turning on a
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Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 17 cleared at 5pm followed by an informal music jam. Dancing begins at 6 pm and goes until 7:30. Genealogy Workshop: Samuels public library invites you to register and attend our Genealogy Workshop every second Tuesday of the month. Learn about online resources and share your successes and research frustrations with other amateur researchers. Reference staff will discuss a new online genealogical resource each month. This workshop will be Tuesday, March 14th at 6:00pm in the Traister Computer Lab. Books and Beyond Book Club: Samuels Public Library invites you to attend the Books and Beyond Book Club! On Wednesday, February 15th at 10:00 A.M., The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown will be discussed. General Education Development: Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the General Education Development course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 A.M-12:30 P.M (except on school holidays or closings). The GED course is completely free. Let this course be the stepping stone to your success. English as a Second Language: Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the English as a Second Language course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. The ESL course is completely free. Learning English will not only enhance your quality of life but open many doors and present new opportuni-
ties. Books and Beyond Book Club: Samuels Public Library invites you to attend the Books and Beyond Book Club! On Wednesday, March 15th at 10:00 A.M., The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown will be discussed. Hello Computer: Samuels Public Library invites you to attend our beginning computer class for total computer novices. It is a four week course that covers turning on a computer, using a mouse, setting up email and using the internet. Classes are held on Tuesdays from 1:00pm2:00pm. Exploring Computers: Samuel Public Library invites you to attend our intermediate computer class and improve your skills. Each month explore a new computer program or application in a safe, friendly environment with other intermediate computer users. Classes are held on Thursdays at 1:00pm. March will be focused on Microsoft Word. Altered Books Craft Workshop: Samuels Public Library invites you to register and participate in our altered book craft workshop on Saturday, March 18th at 10:30am where you can take old books and recycle them into different unique creations to your liking! This is an adult program but mature children accompanied by a responsible caregiver are always welcome. Crochet Group: Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and learn how to crochet or share your talents. The group will meet on the
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second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 10am (March 8th and 22nd). All ability levels welcome. Shenandoah Riverkeeper Update on Mercury Spill Cleanup Plan: Samuels Public Library invites you to join us for a presentation about the Shenandoah River on Thursday, March 30th at 6:00 pm. Shenandoah Riverkeeper Mark Frondorf will provide a brief history of the spill and its impact upon the River. He will look at what measures are included in the Consent Decree and Restoration Plan, including the proposed Front Royal Fish Hatchery, to bring the South Fork and the South River back to a healthy state. Youth Services Department of Samuels Public Library March events More information about Samuels Library and the programs and services available can be found at www. samuelslibrary.net or by calling (540) 635-3153. Wednesday, March 1 – 10:15 Toddler Story time. Join us as we explore the world of Dr. Seuss with some beloved stories, songs, and a craft. Siblings welcome. 11:00 Preschool Story time. Join us as we explore the world of Dr. Seuss with some beloved stories, songs, and a craft. Siblings welcome. Thursday, March 2 – 10:15 and 11:00 a.m. Read Across America Celebration. Celebrate Read Across America Day and your Winter Reading Club success with a special Dr. Seuss Breakfast and Family Story time. All ages are welcome. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Front Royal. Saturday, March 4 – 10:10 Books and Barks. Come to our extremely popular monthly pro-
gram that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog. For beginning readers and up. Registration begins February 4. 2:00 Discuss This: Teen Picks & Flicks. Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we watch movies, discuss books, and share our creations. Refreshments will be provided. Tuesday, March 7 – 11:00 Time for Baby. What do books, scarves, puppets, music and babies have in common? They are all part of Time for Baby. Join us as we use all of our senses to explore the world around us. Our theme will be, “Marching with Monkeys.” Siblings welcome. Saturday, March 11 – 11:00 Irish Step Dancing. Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish Step Dancing performance by the Jig ‘n Jive Dance Studio. 2:00 Aspiring Artists. Are you aged 7 to 11? Do you enjoy art? If so, please join us for our children’s art class. This session, children will make cityscape sculptures using cardboard and pastels. Registration begins February 11. Tuesday, March 14 – 4:30 The Maker Club. The Maker Club is designed for school-aged children who want to make something creative and explore a new topic each week through books and activities. It meets after school each Tuesday at 4:30 P.M. We’ll celebrate all things Irish with our St. Patrick’s Day theme this week, March 14. Wednesday, March 15 – 10:15 Toddler Story time. Wear your green and join us for a St. Patrick’s Day story time with stories, songs, and a craft. Siblings welcome.
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11:00 Preschool Story time. Wear your green and join us for a St. Patrick’s Day story time with stories, songs, and a craft. Siblings welcome. Thursday, March 16 – 10:15 Toddler Story time. Wear your green and join us for a St. Patrick’s Day story time with stories, songs, and a craft. Siblings welcome. 11:00 Preschool Story time. Wear your green and join us for a St. Patrick’s Day story time with stories, songs, and a craft. Siblings welcome. Saturday, March 18 – Kooky Chefs Cook the World: Ireland. Children ages 6 and up are welcome to join us as we explore the culture and cuisine of Ireland, the Emerald Isle. Registration begins February 18. Tuesday, March 21 – 4:30 The Maker Club. The Maker Club is designed for school-aged children who want to make something creative and explore a new topic each week through books and activities. It meets after school each Tuesday at 4:30 P.M. On March 21 we will explore the intricacies, beauty, and delicacy of flowers. Wednesday, March 22 – 10:15 Toddler Story time. We will Celebrate Spring with our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome. 11:00 Preschool Story time. We will Celebrate Spring with our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome. Thursday, March 23 – 10:15 Toddler Story time. We will Celebrate Spring with our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome. 11:00 Preschool Story time. We will Celebrate Spring with our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome. Saturday, March 25 – 2:00 World of Lego. Children ages 5 and up are invited to explore all the amazing things you can do with Legos. Registration begins February 25. Tuesday, March 28 – 4:30 The Maker Club. The Maker Club is designed for school-aged children who want to make something creative and explore a new topic each week through books and activities. It meets after school each Tuesday at 4:30 P.M. On March 28, we’ll focus on dinosaurs and what we can learn about them. Wednesday, March 29 – 10:15 Toddler Story time. Our favorite fairy tales will come out differently during our Tales with a Twist story time. Siblings welcome. 11:00 Preschool Story time. Our favorite fairy tales will come out differently during our Tales with a Twist story time. Siblings welcome. Thursday, March 30 – 10:15 Toddler Story time. Our favorite fairy tales will come out differently during our Tales with a Twist story time. Siblings welcome. 11:00 Preschool Story time. Our favorite fairy tales will come out differently during our Tales with a Twist story time. Siblings welcome. – firstname.lastname@example.org
Page 18 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017
Route 37 Sign Pedestrians, Bicycles And Other Slow Moving Vehicles Prohibited On Route 37 In Frederick County
Signs are being installed announcing new travel restrictions on Route 37, also known as the Winchester Western Bypass, in Frederick County. Installation work will begin on Monday, Feb. 13, weather permitting. This action is to enhance the safety of the traveling public by prohibiting pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds and other slow moving vehicles. In recent years, slow-moving farm vehicles, mopeds, bicycles, all-terrain vehicles and pedestrian traffic have greatly increased on Route 37, which has a speed limit of 65 mph. The increase in this type of traffic has created significant traffic hazards and Virginia State Police have investigated 251 reportable traffic crashes
on the 15-mile, primary highway between 2012 and 2016. Two 2013 crashes each had a fatality. At the request of the Virginia State Police and the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, the Virginia Department of Transportation studied the area and concluded that limiting these types of vehicles is appropriate to minimizing the risk of crashes and saving lives. On January 18, 2017 the Commonwealth Transportation Board passed a resolution prohibiting slow moving vehicles on Route 37. These restrictions are similar to those found on Interstate 81. The restriction lists “pedestrians, persons riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, mopeds, animal drawn vehicles, selfpropelled machinery or equipment and animals led, ridden or driven on the hoof.” Once the sign installation is complete, the Virginia State Police can begin enforcement of this restriction. Violators face a class 4 misdemeanor with a fine of up to $250, if convicted. The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties. Cross Junction Man Pleads Guilty to Misbranding Charge Law Enforcement Issues Warning to Public About Harmful Effects of Ingesting Unknown Substances A Virginia man who purchased
and later distributed misbranded drugs that were intentionally masked to look like candy pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced. Christopher Michael Sweeney II, 20, of Cross Junction, Va., pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, namely, with the intent to defraud and mislead, to ship and receive in interstate commerce a misbranded drug. “This case underscores how extremely dangerous it is to take drugs, no matter how innocent they are made to appear, that are not clearly labeled with information such as the content, ingredients, and source. This dangerous synthetic drug was ruthlessly packaged to look like candy, sold by the defendant as Xanax and caused tragic harm to unsuspecting customers,” Acting United States Attorney Mountcastle said today. “I implore anyone who might be thinking about experimenting with drugs like this to stop and consider that you are putting your life and your health at risk. I am grateful for the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Virginia State Police, the DEA, and AUSA Kulpa’s hard work and dedication in resolving this very difficult case and for their continued efforts against the drug epidemic in the Western District of Virginia.” “With the dangers of non-controlled substances that are being falsely marketed and sold over the internet, law enforcement and prosecutors are having to constantly adjust and improve their investigative
techniques,” said Supervisory Special Agent Josiah C. Schiavone, Coordinator of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force for the Virginia State Police. “We are happy that in this case, through collaborative efforts, we were able to find a route to successful prosecution.” “This case clearly demonstrates the dangers of purchasing illicit drugs off of the internet. Purchasers do not know the true contents of what they are purchasing to ingest and thereby are placing their safety and their lives in the hands of an unscrupulous manufacturer,” said Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Washington Field Division. According to evidence presented at today’s guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Erin M. Kulpa, should this case had gone to trial the United States would have proven that between June 2015 and September 2015, Sweeney purchased and received sugar tablet candies, or Smarties, laced with flubromazolam, a designer synthetic drug that is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and is not
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Friday, February 24th 6–9pm
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approved for human use because of its toxicity and other potential harmful effects. In some individuals, flubromazolam can cause and has caused serious bodily injury as a result of ingesting the substance. In addition, the United States would have proven Sweeney purchased this substance via the “dark web” and that the substance was delivered on Smarties candies. They arrived delivered in packages that did not contain packing or labels listing the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor, did not have adequate directions for use or warnings against use in those pathological conditions or by children where its use may be dangerous to health or bore a label bearing the words “Rx Only.” Sweeney purchased the Smarties in quantities of 100-300 tablets per purchase, at a price of approximately $0.38 per tablet. The defendant paid his co-conspirators using digital currency transfers through electronic media and had the Smarties mailed to him either at his home address or to a post office box, the United States would have proven at trial.
Blue Ridge Arts Council Main Street Front Royal, VA PAWcasso will feature one of a kind artwork created by shelter pets. These pawsome pieces of art will be on exhibit at BRAC on Main Street in Front Royal, VA starting Tuesday, February 21st. Animal and art lovers will be able to purchase the original PAWcasso pieces at the exhibit wrap up on Friday, February 24th 6-9PM. Prices for framed and matted shelter pet PAWcassos: 8x10 $25.00 11x14 $50.00 Refreshments provided. Doors open at 6PM. A $10 good will donation will earn you a chance to win a pawsome door prize. Ad Sponsored by Aders Insurance Agency Inc Ellen Aders, Agent 23 Church St Front Royal, VA 22630 540-635-3336
Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 19 The defendant consumed, gave away or sold the Smarties he purchased from the “dark web.” Sweeney sold the Smarties for between $5-$8 per tablet. He referred to the tablets laced with flubromazolam as “Smarties” and told some customers they contained “Xanax,” and told some others the Smarties contained Xanax plus a research chemical that added intensity to its effect. The Smarties he distributed did not contain labeling identifying that they contained flubromazolam. During the time he was selling the Smarties, Sweeney acknowledged the powerful effects of the drug, noting to his customers that some people had blacked out from taking the drug and some had crashed their cars after taking the drug and driving. The investigation of the case was conducted by Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Virginia State Police and the
Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Erin M. Kulpa prosecuted the case for the United States.
Local teenagers, ages 14 to 17, are invited to apply for the Winchester
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Winchester Police Accepting Applications for Second Teen Citizen’s Academy
Police Department’s second Teen Citizen’s Academy to be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017. This free class, which provides students with an inside look at local law enforcement operations and challenges, is a companion program to the Police Citizen’s Academy, currently in its 20th year. Fourteen students graduated from the inaugural Teen Citizen’s Academy in November 2016. One of the goals of the Teen Citizen’s Academy is to develop positive relationships between the police and youth through education. It also allows teens to explore a possible career in law enforcement. Activities will include a tour of the Timbrook Public Safety Center including 911 Dispatch Center. Topics include gang activity, drugs, a K-9 demonstration, animal control, the juvenile court system, and crime scene processing. The Teen Citizen’s Academy will be held from 8:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. at the Timbrook Public Safety Center, located at 231 E. Piccadilly Street. Graduates will be invited to apply for the new Junior Volunteers in Policing Program where members assist the Winchester Police Department’s Volunteers in Policing (VIPs) with special events and outreach activities in the community as needed. Applications are available online at http://winchesterpolice.org/teencitizens-police-academy. Space is limited.
Belle Grove manor photo courtesy of...wait for it... “AgnosticPr eacher sKid”/ Wikipedia Belle Grove Presents the 20th Annual “Hite of Excellence Extraordinary Series of Sumptuous Feasts” Belle Grove Plantation is pleased to announce the 2017 schedule of its signature “Hite of Excellence Extraordinary Series of Sumptuous Feasts.” The series includes exclusive and private events held throughout the year. Thanks to generous hosts and sponsors, proceeds from event ticket sales will directly support Belle Grove’s education, research, and historic preservation projects. The “Hite of Excellence” Dinner Series begins with a Kick-Off Cocktail Party at Belle Grove Plantation on Saturday, February 4, 2017, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The party will feature valet parking, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and a silent auction. Tickets for the Kick-Off Party are $25 per
person or $40 per couple and may be purchased at www.bellegrove.org or by calling (540) 869-2028. The Kick-Off Party is the first chance for guests to purchase tickets to the 2017 dinners and events. Several events have a limited amount of tickets and will sell out quickly. This year’s series includes 14 events that are outlined below. They range from an elite, formal dinner party in the Belle Grove Manor House’s Dining Room to a relaxed hike to tour the archaeological remains of the Plantation’s mills and distillery. Tickets that are not sold at the Kick-Off Party will go on sale at www.bellegrove. org on Monday, February 6. “Belle Grove has always been a center of entertaining, starting when it was owned by Major Isaac Hite, Jr. and Nelly Madison Hite in the late 18th and early 19thcenturies. We enjoy continuing this tradition of hospitality,” said Kristen Laise, Executive Director of Belle Grove. “These events are an important fundraiser for our non-profit museum and they provide a great opportunity to create new programs and make new friends.” Belle Grove Plantation is located at 336 Belle Grove Road, which is off Route 11 just south of Middletown, Virginia. It is a non-profit historic house museum that is a National Trust for Historic Preservation site. It is also a partner in the Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park. 2017 Calendar of Sumptuous Feasts & Events March 9 Absolutely Dead at the Winchester Little Theatre: Belle Grove has bought out the Winchester Little Theatre for the murder mystery comedy “Absolutely Dead.” The evening will include a reception and desserts catered by Bonnie Blue Southern Market and Bakery. March 25 Plantation History Hike and Luncheon: Hike the property once owned by Isaac Hite, Jr. Explore foundations and road traces to the mills, distillery and more, then settle in for a hearty lunch downstairs in the Manor House. April 8 An Elegant Evening at Belle Grove: A unique opportunity to dine formally in Belle Grove’s beautiful golden dining room. An intimate group will enjoy seasonal foods from Hite era recipes and live entertainment. May 20 Lords and Ladies Feast: Belle Grove supporters invite you to their famous feast of traditional Scottish dishes in their beautiful Strasburg home. June 3 An Evening at Highcliff on the Shenandoah: Dine at the custom log home of local Belle Grove supporter and take in a view overlooking the Shenandoah River and the Blue Ridge, Massanutten and Allegheny Mountains. June 23 Art in the Barn Preview Party: Belle Grove’s annual art auction will open this evening and will stay on display all weekend. Get first pick of unique artworks for sale and See FREDERICK, 20
Page 20 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017 FREDERICK, from 19 enjoy the 1918 Bank Barn, live bluegrass music, food, and drink. July 15 Babe at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: In celebration of Belle Grove hosting the 2017 National Sheepdog Finals, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will host a special screening of the Babe, the story of a pig that dreams of being a sheepdog. September 9 Wine Pairings with the Woodstock Café’s Coe Sherrard: A casual evening in the Belle Grove Barn with a menu of tapas dishes paired with eight international wines selected by the Woodstock Café’s Coe Sherrard. September 13 Dinner with Friends at Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill: The Griffin Tavern’s Chef Rachel Rowland will share her talents with a seasonal three-course menu featuring some of the best local produce of Rappahannock County. September 30 National Sheepdog Finals VIP ticket: Choose a Saturday ticket for the semifinal competition and watch all the action while enjoying food and drink in the VIP tent. October 1 National Sheepdog Finals VIP ticket: Choose a Sunday ticket for the final competition and watch all the action while enjoying food and drink in the VIP tent. Stay to see the awarding of the North American champion dog and handler! October 21 Octoberfest at Historic Birdwood: You are invited to Birdwood the 1880s home of William Twyman and Sarah Madison Byrd Williams, granddaughter of Major Isaac Hite, Jr. A full Octoberfest experience awaits with German music, food, drink, and conviviality. December 2 Festive Christmas Tea at Belle Grove Plantation: Don a fancy hat and begin the holiday season by relaxing over afternoon tea in the Belle Grove’s Manor House all decorated for Christmas. This is a perfect gift! December 10 Cocktails at Christmas: Join us for a festive cocktail party with elegant hor d’oeuvres, a special cocktail with Belle Grove 1797 Whiskey, holiday music, and a tour the Manor House lit by candlelight. The Kernstown Battlefield Association Events It’s a big day for the KBA! Not only is this the 155th anniversary of the First Battle of Kernstown, but the Civil War Trust will be turning over 37.4 acres on Sandy Ridge to the KBA! Sandy Ridge, along with the stone wall at Rose Hill, is the site where Confederate and Union forces fought most heavily during the First Battle of Kernstown. Sandy Ridge also is the site where the Confederates placed their artillery, made their last stand and where Colonel Murry of the 84th Pennsylvania was mortally wounded. The KBA is very excited to receive this property and will start interpreting the site during the 2017 season. The Civil War Trust presentation ceremony and reception is at 10:30 am in the Artillery Annex.
Free. The Kernstown Battlefield will be open from, 9 am to 4 pm, for those who wish to commemorate the First Battle of Kernstown on the actual day of the battle. Battlefield and 1854 Pritchard House tours will be available. The Museum, Artillery Annex and Gift Shop also will be open. The KBA will commemorate the 155th anniversary of the First Battle of Kernstown. On Saturday, March 25th, Gary L. Ecelbarger, author of “We Are In For It!” The First Battle of Kernstown, will be giving a guided tour of the Battlefield at 9 am. Meet at the Visitors’ Center. Other activities, including tours of the Battlefield, the 1854 Pritchard House, the Museum and the Artillery Annex, will continue throughout the weekend. The Gift Shop also will be open. We will be open at 8:30 am until 4 pm on Saturday. On Sunday, our friends from the Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Park Service in Middletown will join us to do their program 1862 in a Box. The program will be held at 12 pm and 2 pm. Meet at the Visitors’ Center. The Gettysburg unit of Civil War Historical Impressions will join us for the weekend. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and his personal physician, Dr. Hunter H. McGuire, will be our special guests. Upcoming Events Every first Saturday, May through October: Our own Mike Cannane will give battlefield tours every first Saturday of the month at 11 am and 1 pm (5/6, 6/3, 7/1, 8/5, 9/2, 10/7). Please meet at the Visitors’ Center. Comfortable clothes and refreshments are advised. Every second and fourth Saturday, May through October: Our own Steve Riddle will give battlefield tours every second and fourth Saturday of the month at 11 am and 1 pm (5/13 & 27, 6/10 & 24, 7/8 & 22, 8/12 & 26, 9/9 & 23, 10/14 & 28). Please meet at the Visitors’ Center. Comfortable clothes and refreshments are advised. Every third Saturday, May through October: Our own Roger Henderberg will give battlefield tours every third Saturday of the month (5/20, 6/17, 7/15, 8/19, 9/16 and 10/21) at 11 am and 1 pm. Please meet at the Visitors’ Center. Comfortable clothes and refreshments are advised. National Park Service – 1862 in a Box presentation : A ranger from the Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Park Service will present the NPS’ 1862 in a Box presentation every second Sunday at 1 pm (5/14, 6/11, 7/9, 8/13, 9/10 and 10/8.) April 1: Join the KBA for the Civil War Trust sponsored Park Day. Be one of the first people to tour Sandy Ridge as we prepare the new site for interpretation. Please bring your own work gloves and proper shoes.
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Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 21 Food, drink and a Civil War Trust t-shirt will be provided. Meet at the Visitors’ Center at 10 am. April 8: The KBA and Clan Adrenalin will host a “backyard” Highland games. The backyard game is a smaller one than the one we will host in July, with only the competition taking place. The competition will benefit Warrior 360, a veteran sponsored 501(c)(3) that supports veterans with everything from medical care to housing needs. A contingent of wounded warriors will be competing at these games. The KBA will be on hand to sell refreshments and otherwise support the games. Refreshment proceeds will support the KBA. Please bring your own chairs. May 6 & 7: Opening weekend at the Kernstown Battlefield. There will be tours of the Battlefield, the 1854 Pritchard House, the Museum and the Artillery Annex. The Gift Shop also will be open. Other activities to be announced. May 14: Mrs. Pritchard will be hosting a Mothers’ Day tea from 11 am until 2 pm. Enjoy the graciousness of the period while celebrating your Mother. The Gettysburg unit of Civil War Historical Impressions will join us for the tea. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and his personal physician, Dr. Hunter H. McGuire, will be our special guests. Period or business casual dress is appreciated. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the Visitors’ Center or by contacting SMGolden@aol.com. June 13: The KBA will commemorate the 154th anniversary of the Second Battle of Winchester, which began with a skirmish at Kernstown. Special tours featuring the Second Battle of Winchester will be given all day, as well as tours of the Battlefield,
1854 Pritchard House, Museum and Artillery Annex. The Gift Shop will be open. We will be open 10 am to 4 pm. July 8: The KBA and Clan Adrenalin will host a Highland games competition on our south field. Scottish Highland warriors competed against each other between battles. They used ordinary objects in their competitions: weights, stones, hammers and tree trunks (“cabers”). This year our July games will be expanding to include other fun activities for the whole family. Come and see these amazing athletes compete and see what other fun things we have in store for you! Refreshments will be available for sale. Please bring your own chairs. July 22 & 23: The KBA will commemorate the 153rd anniversary of the Second Battle of Kernstown with a weekend full of special events. In addition to Battlefield, 1854 Pritchard House, Museum and Artillery Annex tours, the KBA will present special events. The Gift Shop will be open. Stay tuned. August 19 & 20: The KBA will participate in the Civil War Weekend in the Shenandoah Valley with a range of diverse programs. The Pritchards will host a picnic in front of the Pritchard House on Saturday. We also will be giving Battlefield, 1854 Pritchard House, Museum and Artillery Annex tours all weekend. The Gift Shop also will be open all weekend. The KBA and Jackson’s Headquarters will once again present a one day seminar on Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson on Saturday, August 19th. Each of the sponsoring organizations will give a special tour from 10 am to 11:30 am and again from 2:30 pm to 4 pm. Our guest
speakers, Steve French and Jerry Holsworth, both authors and historians, will discuss Jackson’s 1862 campaign leading up to and including the First Battle of Kernstown. They will be signing their books at lunch. The lunch is in the KBA conference room, with catering by Firefly Café and Bakery. Cost is $20. Contact SMGolden@aol.com for more information. September 23: The KBA will host its second annual Civil War Ball from 7 pm until 10 pm. Music will be provided by the Second Virginia Calvary String Band. Dance masters from the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Era Dancers will be on hand to call our dances. Refreshments are provided. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the Visitors’ Center or by contacting SMGolden@aol. com. November 5: The KBA will open for a special day honoring our Veterans, Active Duty Military and First Responders. Special tours will be given to our honored guests, and their families. Refreshments will be provided. November 11: The KBA and Clan Adrenalin will host its second “backyard” Highland games of the season. This low key event is a perfect family outing. The games benefit prostate cancer research. Refreshments will be for sale by the KBA and all refreshment proceeds will benefit the KBA. Please bring your own chairs. General Information The Kernstown Battlefield Association is an all-volunteer, non-profit preservation organization. Most of its almost 400 acres are located at 610 Battle Park Dr., Winchester. The Battlefield is open from the beginning of May until the end of October
on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm, unless otherwise noted. The Battlefield also is open on Federal holidays and on the actual dates of the First and Second Battles of Kernstown and the Second Battle of Winchester. Tours can be arranged throughout the year by contacting the KBA. KBA docents give tours of the Battlefield, the 1854 Pritchard House, the Museum and the Artillery Annex collections. The Visitors’ Center has
a Gift Shop with diverse items for purchase. The KBA does take checks and credit cards. For those in need, the KBA has a golf cart to drive visitors around the Battlefield. All of the KBA’s programs are by donation, unless otherwise noted. For more information, go to www.kernstownbattle. org or to the KBA Facebook page: www.Facebook .com/Kernstown Battlefield Association. To contact the battlefield call (757) 593-8227 or (202) 302-9129.
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Engle’s Angle: “140. Or less.” By Kevin S. Engle I’ve never sent a tweet. I don’t even know how. Someone showed me once. But I don’t remember. I hear it’s popular. I did some research. These are my favorites. @1stPrez Can’t tell a lie. That pie was tasty. #cherrytree #POTUS1 #GWash @RichNix Never liked Watergate salad. #Iamnotacrook #trickydick @formerPrez Daughter got “F” on school project. Very upset. Worked hard. Good kid. Brings dad slippers. Deserved better grade. Bad teacher. #barack @heyEinstein It’s all relative. e=mc². #lovephysics #genius #badhairday @therealJesus Follow me.
#walkonwater #messiahguy @TweetyB I tot I taw a puddy tat. #littleyellowbird #notacatperson @OldManWinter Can’t get enough of this weather. #belowzero #snow #ice @EasterBunny Wish someone would bring me chocolate candy. #bigrabbit #sweettooth @fatguyinredsuit Enjoying time off. See you in December. #kriskringle @Elvis Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. #theking @Leonardo Liked to paint. #bythenumbers #monalisa #daVinci @RoadRunner Beep Beep! #reallyfast #lovethatcoyote and finally, @Porky That’s all folks! #eatmorebeef #pinkpig #funnystuff – email@example.com
Page 22 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017
VIRGINIA Adventure meets Activism at Wild and Scenic Film Fest Shake off the winter blues! Ski, climb, paddle and bike your way to adventure at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival. The festival showcases environmental action and adventure in beautiful but threatened places around the world. Enjoy the Dream Day of friends who start high in the Sieras and hike, ski, and bike to the coast for a sunset surf. See how Alaskans save a free flowing, wild salmon river from a new hydro-electric dam. Learn how a Texas rancher and a Carolina farmer restore their farms to harmony and balance with nature. The Festival’s 12 short movies will inspire you to protect and enjoy the wild and the local places we love.. Friends of the Rappahannock’s (FOR) 6th annual film festival will be shown at 2 locations. On Saturday, March 18 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m the Daniel Technology Center on the Germanna Community College campus in Culpeper will
host the event. The following week on Saturday, March 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. the festival will be held at UMW’s Dodd Auditorium to accommodate an ever-growing Fredericksburg audience. FOR is a non-profit, advocacy group in its 32nd year of protecting the Rappahannock River.. Festival tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. School students are free of charge, college students free with ID. Tickets can be purchased online at www.riverfriends. org.For more information, call (540) 373-3448 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Town Of Strasburg Seeks Input On Location Of ‘Love’ Sculpture
The Town of Strasburg, Staufferstadt Artist Residency and the Virginia Tourism Corporation are partnering to bring an oversized LOVE artwork to Strasburg as part of a state and local partnership to promote tourism, and the Town wants the community’s help to determine where to locate the sculpture. The artwork, which is slated to be over 16 feet long and more than six feet high, will either be located at the new event space currently being developed east of Town Hall in
R-MA awarded video security system grant
the Downtown Historic District or at the Gateway to Shenandoah Visitor Center (Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park) on Old Valley Pike. Residents are asked to complete the survey at the bottom of the newsletter enclosed with their water bill, follow the link under “News & Updates” at www.strasburgva.com, or go to svy. mk/2ko8EYq. Survey responses will be collected through March 17. “We’re excited to be participating in the LOVEworks program,” said Town Mayor Rich Orndorff, Jr. “The ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ brand is well known by people throughout the country, so it makes good business sense for us to associate with that.” The sculpture is part of the Virginia is for Lovers campaign and is designed to promote family-friendly vacation experiences in Virginia. The Town of Strasburg was notified of its $1,500 award toward the construction of the project in November of last year. The results of the survey will be used determine the project timeline. The Staufferstadt Artist Residency was formed in the fall of 2015 with the purpose of bringing world class, large format public art to Strasburg. The residency works as an intermediary between professional artists and property owners to find locations for the murals. The residency hopes to help revitalize and compliment the beauty of the town, provide inspiration for the local youth and connect artists from abroad to the local community, encouraging cross cultural conversation and the sharing of new ideas. Summer jobs available in Virginia State Parks
From left are R-MA’s Director of Support Services, Don Williams, Vice Pres. of Development and Alumni Programs Kittie Abell, Academy President Brig. Gen. David Wesley, Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron and Administrative Assistant to Patrol Division Donna Brady. On February 1, 2017 Warren County Sheriff, Daniel McEathron presented Randolph-Macon Academy’s President, Brig. Gen. David Wesley, USAF Retired with a check in the amount of $127,960.00 which was awarded to the Warren County Sheriff ’s Office through a Com-
munity Oriented Policing Secure Our Schools Grant. This brings to completion over seven years of collaborated project between the Sheriff ’s Office and Randolph -Macon Academy to provide the Academy’s campus with a much needed video security system.
Virginia State Parks is hanging out the “Help Wanted” sign for everyone from high school students to senior citizens. Seasonal positions – from lifeguards and snack bar workers to contact rangers and housekeepers – are available in all 37 state parks, which are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. “Seasonal employees are the backbone of our operations and allow us to provide a wealth of outdoor recreational and programming experiences for our guests,” said State Parks Director Craig Seaver. “A state park seasonal position is a great way to enhance job experience in a variety of unique outdoor related locations and facilties.” Virginia State Parks will host more than 5 million visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day and fill about 1,000 seasonal positions to support them.
Many seasonal park employees spend significant time working outdoors. Employees receive customer service training in addition to jobspecific training. A list of available positions can be found here: http://www.dcr.virginia. gov/jobs Downtown Culpeper Carnival – an all-day Mardi Gras celebration in the heart of Downtown Culpeper - Saturday, February 25th Laissez les bon temps rouler! On February 25, 2017, join the excitement of Mardi Gras in Downtown Culpeper, Virginia brought to you by Culpeper Renaissance, Inc.! Fun for the entire family including: live music, performing artists, wagon rides, New Orleans inspired food, crafts for children, Mardi Gras photo booth, costumed living historians, and balloon-magic. Enjoy the traditions of Mardi Gras with beads and masks for all. Explore Historic Downtown Culpeper, while experiencing all that the Culpeper Downtown Carnival has to offer: eat savory, shop, listen, learn, and eat sweet for your chance at an amazing Downtown Gift Basket! Entry cards along with the schedule of events are located in shops and res-
taurants throughout the downtown district, so be certain to pick one up today. Families can prepare to be mesmerized with Wes Iseli magic shows with one beginning at 11 am and one at 3 pm at The Culpeper Center for FREE, seating is limited, first come, first serve. Enjoy all day in-store specials with downtown’s many unique specialty shops opening at 10 AM. Restaurants will serve up delicious Mardi Gras themed specials from sweet French Quarter beignets and King Cake, to savory gumbo and po’ boys that is sure to please. Living history to enjoy! The Burgandine House at 807 South Main Street will celebrate both Carnival and George Washington’s birthday all day from 9am to 9pm featuring history, period costumes, food tastings; a lot in a little house. The Museum of Culpeper History located at 113 South Commerce Street in the Depot will be open from 11am until 4pm. Visit the museum for new exhibits, crafts for kids, selfie photo booth, and balloon animals from 1pm - 2pm. Keep up with the latest Downtown Culpeper Carnival information at www.facebook.com/culpepercarnival or contact Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. at 540-825-4416 or visit www. culpeperdowntown.com.
Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 23 Assembly passes bill to allow sale of 151-proof liquor
By Amy Lee Capital News Service The General Assembly has given final approval to a bill that would allow the sale of 151-proof liquor in Virginia – a choice available in almost all other states, but one some fear could increase binge drinking and other problems on college campuses. “I am glad to see Virginia join the ranks of 48 other states that have legalized clear, 151-proof alcohol. The law banning the legislation is a law left over from the days of Prohibition,” said Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, who sponsored the bill. Under HB 1842, state-controlled liquor stores will be able to sell neutral grain spirits up to 151 proof (75.5 percent alcohol), an increase from the previous limit of 101 proof (50.5 percent alcohol). Knight sponsored similar legislation in 2016, but it was vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who echoed the concerns of university officials about 151-proof liquor. “A prime market for these products is young people who are attracted to their high proof and low cost,” McAuliffe wrote in his veto message last spring. A McAuliffe spokesman said the governor has not taken a stand on HB 1842. This year’s bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 36-4 in the Senate on Tuesday. Last month, the House approved the measure, 83-14. To assuage concerns from organizations such as the Virginia College Alcohol Leadership Council, Knight cooperated with Brian Moran, secretary of public safety and homeland security, to include a five-year sunset clause in HB 1842. The legality of 151-proof grain alcohol would expire on July 1, 2022, and lawmakers then would decide whether to renew the law. In addition, under the bill, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control could choose not to sell 151-proof alcohol products near college campuses. Some university officials have expressed concerns about highly potent liquor. University of Virginia
President Teresa Sullivan has likened it to a “date rape” drug because of the correlation between alcohol consumption and sexual assault. A popular 151-proof liquor is Everclear, which also comes in a 190-proof variety. It is made by Luxco, a clear liquor producer based in St. Louis. Vectre Corp., a lobbying firm in Richmond, represents Luxco. Vectre officials said 151-proof clear alcohols were used mostly for culinary purposes rather than for straight consumption. An Everclear study conducted in 2015 found that 64 percent of product purchases were made by consumers over age 31. Virginia and Vermont are the only states that ban sales of 151-proof liquor. Despite such restrictions, Virginia residents could easily cross into neighboring states to purchase strong neutral-grain alcohols. According to Knight, the motivation behind HB 1842 is economic. A House workgroup report showed ABC sold more than $13,000 in grain alcohol during the 2016 fiscal year to purchasers holding special permits for industrial, commercial, culinary or medical purposes. “Now Virginians do not have to drive to other states, and give their tax money, to purchase this spirit,” Knight said. “This legislation will allow Virginians the same purchasing power as 48 other states, have the taxes come to the commonwealth, and provide restaurants with 151 (proof ) for cooking purposes.” Nonviolent felons could become gun owners
By Tyler Woodall Capital News Service Legislation moving through the General Assembly could restore some gun rights to nonviolent felons in Virginia. On a 94-4 vote Tuesday, the House of Delegates passed SB 1533, which would allow nonviolent felons to own “antique firearms.” The bill proposed by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, would let nonviolent felons own, transport and carry antique firearms and black powder in a quantity not exceeding Dear Stewart: Despite the cold weather, I see garden centers beginning to display trees for planting. This got me thinking about planting a flowering tree this spring. Which native flowering trees are best suited for this area while providing both beautiful flowers and benefits to local wildlife? – One of Your fans, Marguerite Dear Marguerite,
That’s a great question! As you might know, I love giant trees like oaks, maples and walnuts where I can run in the canopy, build my nest and find lots of nuts to eat. Nevertheless, I checked with the local birds, as well as experts with Virginia Cooperative Extension and Tree Stewards, to find out some of their favorite flowering landscape trees for our region.
five pounds. The firearms can be used solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes such as hunting or Civil War re-enactments. Antique firearms are those considered to be muzzle-loading weapons, into which the powder and projectile are pushed down the barrel of the gun. Del. Marcus Simon, D- Fairfax, made a last-ditch effort to question the bill by asking what problem it was trying to solve. “Are there lots and lots and lots of felons that are missing out of the opportunity to carry antique firearms?” Simon asked. In the end, though, Simon voted for the bill. He urged his colleagues to do the same: “Pass the bill, and keep in mind next time we have a bill before us that talks ways we can encourage nonviolent felons to fully reintegrate, including restoring their voting rights, civil rights and other ways they participate in society.” There are small differences between the version of SB 1533 passed by the House and the version passed by the Senate on Jan. 31. The House version now goes to the Senate for consideration. Assembly passes bill to prevent identity theft
By Rodrigo Arriaza Capital News Service A bill that seeks to protect Virginians from losing their income tax refunds to identity thieves won final approval Wednesday in the General Assembly. The bill’s sponsor, Del. Mark Keam, D-Vienna, said thieves can steal information from the payroll system of an employer or payroll service and use it to claim a state income tax refund before the real taxpayer files a legitimate return. “Incidents of cyber hacking and data breach are becoming way too common, and criminals are using every opportunity to prey on innocent Virginians,” Keam said. His legislation, HB 2113, passed unanimously in the state Senate on Wednesday. The bill, which was approved by the House on Feb. 2, now A top suggestion is the native Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea/Amelanchier canadensis). While this slow-growing woodland tree can reach 40 feet in height, it is also often seen as a large clumping shrub. Small white flowers appear in early spring, followed by edible berries which are enjoyed by birds. The Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a small native tree boasting panicles of fragrant, creamy white flowers in May followed by dark blue berries. This beautiful tree can grow up to 30 feet and prefers full sun. Two of the most popular native trees in our area are Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) and Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). Sadly, our native dogwood, the official state tree of Virginia, is under attack from both dogwood borer and dogwood anthracnose. Look for pink or white cultivars that are more resistant to pests and disease. For best results, don’t plant your dogwood in full sun and avoid dry, compacted soil. The much-beloved redbud, with its purplish-pink flowers bursting in
goes to Gov. Terry McAuliffe for his signature. The measure would require employers to notify the attorney general’s office if they discover that sensitive information about their employee payroll has been compromised. The attorney general’s office then would work with the Virginia Department of Taxation to make sure employees don’t lose their tax refunds to identity thieves. “To give the government a fighting chance against these criminals, it’s critical that employers notify the attorney general’s office as soon as they discover a breach of their employees’ payroll data so that the Tax Department can prevent fraudulent income tax refunds from being processed,” Keam said. According to the Department of Taxation, more than 160 fraudulent refunds were issued during the first six months of 2016 as a result of 18 payroll breaches. Once a fraudulent tax refund is issued, it often is impossible to recover, state officials said. Annually, the state loses about $800,000 due to such cases of fraud involving tax refunds. Paige Tucker, communications specialist with the Virginia Department of Taxation, said identity theft has been a serious problem but her agency is working to stop it. “We are committed to doing our part to prevent refund fraud,” Tucker said. “With the increased sophistication of our fraud models and increased resources devoted to our refund fraud prevention program, we’re seeing positive results.” To prevent refund fraud, Tucker said, taxpayers should refrain from sending personal information, such
as their Social Security number, to unknown people through email or text. Schools still can’t start before Labor Day
By Jessica Samuels Capital News Service Students in Virginia’s largest public school districts can continue enjoying summer vacation through the Labor Day weekend after a Senate panel killed a bill that would have allowed school districts to start classes earlier. House Bill 1983, which sought to end a rule nicknamed the “Kings Dominion Law,” had been approved by the House in January. But the Senate Education and Health Committee voted 9-6 that the bill be “passed by indefinitely.” Under current state law, public schools cannot start before Labor Day unless they get a waiver from the Virginia Department of Education because of harsh winter weather or other “good cause.” The bill would have removed the waiver requirement and allowed school systems to decide when to resume classes. “Each local school board shall be responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening date of the school year,” stated the legislation, which was sponsored by Sen. Thomas “Tag” Greason, R-Loudoun. Greason noted that this was the eighth year in a row that he had carried a bill “giving local control to the localities on their school calendar.” “It’s commonly referred to as the See VIRGINIA, 24
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Chester Gap, Va LICENSED & INSURED early spring, is a hardy tree which is more tolerant than dogwoods of variations in soil and light. Like serviceberry, it can be planted as a specimen tree with a single trunk or with a clumping, spreading crown. While large shade trees provide the framework for garden landscaping, a few wellplaced flowering trees can offer food and shelter for birds and beneficial insects alike, as well as providing seasonal beauty for you, your family and neighbors to enjoy for years to come. For more information on selecting flowering trees for your landscape, visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension website at http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/category/trees-shrubsgroundcovers.html . To learn more about tree care and planting, visit the website of the Front Royal/Warren County Tree Stewards at www.treesfrontroyal.org
The Front Royal/Warren County Tree Steward program began in 1997 with volunteers dedicated to improving the health of trees by providing educational programs, tree planting and care demonstrations, and tree maintenance throughout the community. The group now consists of over 30 active members with several interns working toward becoming certified tree stewards from our annual “All About Trees Class”. Each month Stewart will answer a question from our readers. Please forward it to “Stewart” in care of: email@example.com and we may publish it in a future issue. Please visit our website at:
Page 24 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017 VIRGINIA, from 23 Labor Day bill, the Kings Dominion bill. We are just allowing the localities to set their date on their own,” he said. The Senate Education and Health Committee killed the bill at its meeting last Thursday. In January, the panel had voted down a Senate bill (SB 1111, by Sen. John Edwards, DRoanoke) to expand the reasons that school districts could receive a waiver to open before Labor Day. More than 75 school districts in Northern Virginia and the western half of the state already have waivers to hold classes before Labor Day. That is usually because they have a history of having to close schools during the winter because of snow or other weather conditions. About 55 school systems do not have waivers. They include many of Virginia’s largest districts, such as the public schools in Fairfax, Virginia Beach, Chesterfield, Henrico and Richmond. Supporters of the current law say that it helps protect Virginia’s tourism industry and that parents prefer to have schools on vacation until after Labor Day, the traditional end of summer. Theme parks like Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens have advocated keeping schools from starting before Labor Day. That holiday weekend can be a last chance for families to visit the parks for the summer. The theme parks also rely on teenage workers who would have to quit before the season ends if schools started early. Critics of the current law say local school boards should be able to set the calendar. Some also believe that starting classes before Labor Day would boost students’ academic performance. Here is how the Senate Education and Health Committee voted on HB 1983 (“School calendar; opening day of school year”). 02/09/17 Senate: Passed by indefinitely in Education and Health (9-Y 6-N) YEAS – Newman, Saslaw, Lucas, Barker, Black, Carrico, Cosgrove, Lewis, Dunnavant – 9. NAYS – Howell, Locke, Petersen, Chase, Suetterlein, Peake – 6. House panel rejects redistricting reform bills
By Megan Schiffres Capital News Service Republicans on a House subcommittee killed three redistricting reform bills Tuesday that advocates had hoped would curtail gerrymandering in Virginia. At a 7 a.m. meeting, the Elections Subcommittee of the House Privileges and Elections Committee voted 5-2 that each proposal be “passed by indefinitely,” effectively ensuring that the issue is dead for the legislative session. More than 50 supporters of OneVirginia2021, which advocates for nonpartisan redistricting, attended
the subcommittee’s meeting. The crowd murmured its displeasure when the panel voted against the measures, and one woman shouted “Shameful!” Democrats also were disappointed. “There ought to be a full House vote on these bills,” said House Minority Leader David Toscano of Charlottesville. “They’re so important they shouldn’t be bottled up in a small subcommittee with a very small number of people making big decisions on big issues.” The House Elections Subcommittee considered three measures that had passed the Senate with Republican support last week: SJ 290, a constitutional amendment that states, “No electoral district shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring any political party, incumbent legislator or member of Congress, or other individual or entity.” It was sponsored by Sens. Jill Vogel, R-Winchester, and Janet Howell, D-Reston. SJ 231, a constitutional amendment that would create an independent commission to redraw legislative and congressional districts after each census. It was sponsored by a group of Republicans and Democrats. SB 846, a bill requiring Virginia to use an independent commission if a court declares a legislative or congressional district unlawful or unconstitutional. It was sponsored by Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth. The five Republicans on the Elections Subcommittee voted to kill the
proposals. They are Dels. Les Adams of Pittsylvania, Mark Cole of Spotsylvania, Buddy Fowler of Hanover, Chris Jones of Suffolk and Margaret Ransone of Westmoreland. The two Democrats on the subcommittee – Dels. Mark Sickles of Fairfax and Luke Torian of Prince William – voted to keep the redistricting bills alive. Howell urged the subcommittee to support the amendment that she introduced with her Republican colleague, Vogel. “Gerrymandering is undercutting our representative form of government. It’s making the public feel disenfranchised, and it’s polarizing unnecessarily our political system,” Howell said. “We will keep coming back until you see the wisdom in our amendment.” Cole, who chairs the Elections Subcommittee, questioned whether the amendment would be necessary until 2021, the next time the General Assembly is scheduled to redraw legislative and congressional districts. Cole said the General Assembly should delay considering the issue because pending court cases could change the redistricting laws before the amendment is enacted. District lines in Virginia are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census. The Virginia Constitution requires that districts be composed of “contiguous and compact territory” and fairly represent the population. Critics of the system have argued that the process is used for political gain and has been cor-
rupted by partisanship. SJ 231 – proposed by Republican Sens. Emmett Hanger of Augusta and Glen Sturtevant of Chesterfield and Democratic Sens. Creigh Deeds of Bath and Lynwood Lewis of Accomack – attempted to take the power to draw districts away from politicians and give it to an independent, bipartisan commission. The sevenmember commission would have been composed of two nominations from Republican leaders, two nominations from Democratic leaders, the auditor of public accounts, the state inspector general, and the executive director of the Virginia State Bar. Republicans on the Elections Subcommittee criticized the proposed amendment, saying it would not solve the problem of partisanship in redistricting because most members of the commission would be appointed by party leaders. Sickles, who supported SJ 231 and the other redistricting proposals, complained of his Republican colleagues: “I think the majority opinion
up here is that you can’t take the politics out of this.” Although he voted to kill all three of the redistricting reform measures before the subcommittee, Fowler said he won’t support political gerrymandering in 2021. “If I am around, my commitment is to come up with a redistricting bill that is not gerrymandered with respect to political party as the primary goal,” Fowler said. Eight redistricting reform bills introduced by House members died earlier in the session. They never made it out of committee. Tuesday morning’s actions by the House Elections Subcommittee prompted sharp comments in the afternoon on the House floor. “It’s clear the powers of a few are frustrating the powers of the many,” Toscano said. He urged House Speaker William Howell to let the full House of Delegates vote on the issue to “show your constituents where you stand on redistricting.” “All Virginians want is a vote,” To-
Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 25 scano said. “The Senate gave them a vote, and Mr. Speaker, I hope we in this House body give them a vote.” Jones, one of the Elections Subcommittee members who voted to kill the redistricting bills, defended the existing process for drawing political lines. “We will do like we did in 2010 and have a series of public hearings across the commonwealth,” Jones said. He said legislators “will solicit input from citizens” and use that input in revising districts. CNS reporter Tyler Woodall contributed to this report. Is it gerrymandering – or Democratic clustering?
By Maura Mazurowski and Mary Lee Clark Capital News Service David Toscano, the minority leader in the Virginia House, did the math and didn’t like the results. “All five statewide offices are held
by Democrats, and the presidency has been won by Democrats in Virginia for the last three cycles,” he said. “Yet 66 percent of the House of Delegates are Republicans.” The Democrats do better in the Virginia Senate, where they are outnumbered just 21-19 by Republicans. Almost as lopsided as the state House of Delegates is Virginia’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representative: It has seven Republicans and four Democrats. Toscano and other Democrats blame that imbalance on gerrymandering – the drawing of political districts to favor the party in power. “We face a real uphill struggle, and it shows in the legislation that is getting defeated as well as the legislation that they are getting passed,” Toscano said. Last week, for example, the General Assembly marked “crossover day” – the deadline for bills to pass their chamber of origin or be declared dead for the legislative session. Of
bills sponsored by Republican delegates, 59 percent have won House approval and are still alive, according to a Capital News Service analysis of data from the Legislative Information Service. Of bills sponsored by Democratic delegates, just 25 percent survived crossover. However, many legislators dispute the notion that unfair redistricting practices have disadvantaged Democrats and ensured Republican legislative dominance. “It has nothing to do with gerrymandering. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Jeff Ryer, communications director for the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus. He said the Republican majority in the General Assembly simply reflects where people live: Republicans tend to live in rural areas while Democrats tend to cluster in more densely populated areas, such as Tidewater and Northern Virginia. Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, agrees. In an op-ed this month in the Richmond-Times Dispatch, he discussed what Democrats see as evidence of manipulated districts: “A state in which Republicans have lost seven statewide races in a row has a majority Republican congressional delegation and legislature.”
McDougle wrote, “That is not the result of gerrymandering, but an easy to understand consequence of Democrat voters living in communities surrounded by other Democrat voters.” In other words, he explained, “Democrat voters often reside in clusters, living in localities that vote overwhelmingly for Democrat candidates.” Last fall’s presidential election was a case in point, McDougle said. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won only 40 of Virginia’s 133 localities. But by winning the most populous localities, often by “staggeringly large” margins, Clinton captured the statewide vote over Republican Donald Trump. However, Bill Oglesby, an assistant professor in VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, says gerrymandering explains why Democrats have so little power in the General Assembly. “Even a conservative editorial page like the Richmond-Times Dispatch has said in a state that votes blue statewide on a consistent basis, there’s no justification for having two-thirds of the House be Republican,” said Oglesby, who recently directed and produced a PBS documentary titled “GerryRIGGED:
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Turning Democracy on Its Head.” John Aughenbaugh, a political science professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, said both Democrats and Republicans have used gerrymandering, depending on which party is in the majority when political lines are redrawn every 10 years. “In Virginia, like a majority of the states in the country, the state legislature controls the redistricting process after every census is taken,” Aughenbaugh said. “It puts a heavy premium on which political party is actually in control of the General Assembly after the census results come out.” When the Democrats controlled the General Assembly, they drew the lines to benefit their party, Aughenbaugh said. He said no one is innocent, but it is a problem that must be fixed. “Most political scientists would like to see greater competitive races, whether we are talking about state legislative seats or House of Representatives,” Aughenbaugh said. “We would like to see greater competition.” The lack of competition is evident in statistics compiled by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project. When the 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates were up for election two years ago, 61 of the races were uncontested – with just one name on the ballot. Despite being in the minority in the House and Senate, Democratic legislators have an ace up their sleeve. They can play it when Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoes legislation, as he has done to 71 Republican-supported bills since taking office in 2014. Republicans need a two-thirds majority in both chambers – 67 votes in the House and 27 in the Senate – to override a veto. They’ve never been able to muster that. As a result, not one of McAuliffe’s vetoes has been overturned. But Democrats’ ultimate goal is to change the way political districts are drawn. At the start of the legislative session, legislators – including some Republicans – introduced 13 bills and proposed constitutional amendments intended to take the politics out of redistricting. All of the proposals originating in the House died in the House Privileges and Elections Committee. Bill lets domestic violence victims carry concealed guns By Nick Versaw Capital News Service Victims of domestic violence would get early access to concealed handgun permits under a bill approved Monday by the state Senate. HB 1852 would allow those with protective orders to carry a concealed handgun after they apply for a permit. It was introduced by a ReSee VIRGINIA, 26
Page 26 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017 VIRGINIA, from 25 publican coalition of delegates including Todd Gilbert of Shenandoah County, Nick Freitas of Culpeper, Rick Morris of Suffolk, Ron Villanueva of Virginia Beach and Michael Webert of Fauquier County. The bill was passed by the Senate Monday on a 27-13 vote after approval by the House of Delegates on Feb. 3. It will now be sent to Gov. Terry McAuliffe to seek the governor’s signature. McAuliffe vetoed similar legislation last year and plans to do the same with this iteration, according to Sam Coleman, an aide. Under current Virginia law, it is illegal to carry concealed handguns until a permit is granted – a process that can take up to 45 days after the application is filed. Gilbert said that, for the victims of abuse, that time can be the difference between life and death. To address the issue, the bill would allow those with protective orders to carry a concealed handgun for up to 45 days without a permit as long as they have applied for one. Gilbert said this would give victims of abuse a means to defend themselves from their attackers. “The essence of this is that we want to empower people, especially women, who find themselves in a position where they are in fear of their lives, to be able to protect themselves in a manner that they see fit,” he said. Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, argued the bill would lead to unintended circumstances that could put victims in even greater danger. “We already have a victim who’s vulnerable and very concerned and anxious, and we’re going to allow this person to bypass whatever requirements we might have for concealed handgun permits – one of which is training – to go ahead and get the gun,” she said. “We should base public policy on evidence-based research. Folks who have studied this issue, folks who have advocated for the rights of women, folks who have spent many years evaluating domestic violence situations tell us that it is not wise to interject more firearms into a situation that is already volatile,” Favola added. “In fact, when a firearm exists in a situation of domestic violence, it’s actually the woman who is five times more likely to die.” Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Winchester, argued this bill would not introduce a firearm into a situation where it wouldn’t have already existed, but that it would instead give victims greater freedom to protect themselves by carrying concealed. “I would just like to point out that in this circumstance, a victim can already open carry if they are lawfully allowed,” she said. “In this case, this would simply allow them, in that window of time where they are most vulnerable, to conceal carry. I just want to make that point because I think sometimes people overlook that piece of this, and I think that’s an important measure.” Here is how the Senate voted Mon-
day on HB 1852 (“Concealed handguns; protective orders”). Floor: 02/13/17 Senate: Passed Senate with substitute (27-Y 13-N) YEAS – Black, Carrico, Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, Dance, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Edwards, Hanger, Lewis, McDougle, McPike, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Peake, Petersen, Reeves, Ruff, Saslaw, Stanley, Stuart, Sturtevant, Suetterlein, Vogel, Wagner – 27. NAYS – Barker, Deeds, Ebbin, Favola, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, Spruill, Surovell, Wexton – 13. Senate approval sends ‘Tebow Bill’ to McAuliffe By Nick Versaw Capital News Service The Virginia Senate narrowly approved a bill Monday that would allow home-schooled students across the commonwealth to play high school sports. HB 1578, commonly known as the “Tebow Bill,” would eliminate a statewide ban prohibiting home-schooled students from participating in high school athletics and other interscholastic activities. The Senate voted 22-18 in favor of the measure. Democratic Sen. Lynwood Lewis of Accomac joined the 21 Republican senators in voting for the bill, which had been approved by the House last month. The bill, introduced by Del. Rob Bell, R-Charlottesville, will be sent to Gov. Terry McAuliffe for his signature. Sam Coleman, an aide to the Democratic governor, said McAuliffe plans to veto the legislation. The bill is nicknamed for former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who was allowed to play football for a high school in Florida while he was being home-schooled. Bell has introduced similar legislation each year since 2005. In 2015 and 2016, Bell’s bills were passed by the General Assembly only to be vetoed by McAuliffe. The legislation’s supporters were unable to override the vetoes. Opponents of HB 1578 say homeschoolers don’t have to meet the same academic standards as publicschool students, so it would not be right to let them play alongside regu-
lar students in high school sports. McAuliffe cited that rationale when he vetoed Bell’s legislation last spring. “Opening participation in those competitions to individuals who are not required to satisfy the same criteria upends Virginia’s extracurricular framework and codifies academic inequality in interscholastic competition,” the governor wrote in his veto message. Bell counters that this is not the case with his newest iteration of the bill. Under the legislation, any student who wants to participate in a local high school’s athletic programs would have to pass standardized tests and demonstrate “evidence of progress” in their academic curriculum for at least two years. Bell said the students also would have to meet the same immunization standards as their public-school counterparts. Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, argues that, in his experience, it wouldn’t be fair to students who already participate in their high school’s athletic programs. “I played high school athletics,” Petersen said. “I know a little bit about it. I know you have to have a certain GPA to play on Friday nights. I know you had to basically comply with classroom conduct rules in order to play, and I think those are good rules. They’re good rules for kids, and that’s what this is about.” Bell’s bill also states that each local school district would get to decide for itself whether to allow homeschoolers to participate in high school sports. Districts that consider such a policy as unfair would not be forced to allow home-schoolers to participate. Petersen argued that this caveat would create more problems than it would help solve. “The bottom line is, once Virginia High School League changes its policy, every school division is going to have to match up with it, because nobody is going to want to compete with half a loaf,” he said. “I’ve got some coaches in the audience that are here for state-winning championship teams, and I know what they would say, not on the merits of the bill, but simply that everyone has to play by the same set of rules.” “You can’t have one set of rules
down-state, one set of rules in Northern Virginia and one set of rules in Hampton Roads,” Petersen added. “The bottom line is, if we’re going to have this, it’s got to be a state-wide policy. It can’t be halfway.” Bell argued his bill would simply allow home-schooled students who might not fit the typical publicschool mold the same freedoms as all other students. “If you are a parent and your kid doesn’t fit into the public-school curriculum right now, you can go private or you can go home-schooling, except many places, including a county I represent, have very limited private school options,” Bell said. “Yet we’re forcing parents to say, ‘You can have football, or you can have the education that you want.’” Here is how the Senate voted Monday on HB 1578 (“Students who receive home instruction; participation in interscholastic programs (Tebow Bill)”). Floor 02/13/2017 Senate: Passed Senate: (22-Y 18-N) YEAS – Black, Carrico, Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, DeSteph, Dun-
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By Amelia Heymann Capital News Service Lurking in the depths of the Potomac River is a wriggly monster that can grow to four feet long. With its sharp teeth, the snakehead devours other fish, and biologists fear it could spread across the country. It may not be the second coming of “Jaws,” but Virginia officials view the invasive species as a possible threat. To keep the snakehead in check, Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, has introduced a bill to increase the penalty for people who introduce
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Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 27 the non-native fish into state waters. Currently, the law only prohibits bringing snakeheads into Virginia; the penalty can be a fine of up to $500. SB 906 would make it illegal to take a snakehead that is already in Virginia and introduce it into another body of water. Under the legislation, violators would be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Surovell’s bill easily passed the Senate last month and won a unanimous endorsement Wednesday from a subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources. Now it will go to the full committee and then the House of Delegates. Surovell said the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries came to him last fall and told him that people were trying to move snakeheads around the commonwealth. VDGIF officials believed the threat of jail time would be a stronger deterrent than a fine. John Odenkirk, a marine biologist who has studied the effects of the snakehead fish on the Potomac, agrees.
“We convicted someone three years ago, but that was a Class 3 misdemeanor, which was only a $50 fine,” said Odenkirk, who works for the VDGIF. The snakehead, which is native to Eastern Asia, was first discovered in the U.S. in 1977. In 2004, the species was found in the Potomac River, where it spread to Maryland and Virginia. Surovell said that so far, the species has not had a negative impact on the Potomac’s ecosystem. They have been feeding mostly on bluegill fish. Raptors, like hawks and eagles, have started hunting snakehead fish for food, coexisting with the invasive species. “I think snakeheads are a muchmaligned fish,” Surovell said. “They’ve got kind of a bad reputation when they first showed up, but they taste pretty good.” Odenkirk said it’s too soon to determine if the species is benign or a threat to the ecosystem. “There’s still a big unknown. We are down this road a little ways, but we still have a ways to go,” Odenkirk said. “They are coming into equilibrium, which often happens with a
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new species. We are hoping they run their course, but we are still not sure. There could be damage to the ecosystem if their numbers increase.” The main problem, officials said, is people trying to introduce the snakehead into other areas of the state. Many people enjoy fishing for snakeheads because they require different lures and are trickier to catch. While the species may be able to coexist in a large and busy body of water like the Potomac River, experts worry that it could do a great deal of damage in a smaller river or lake. “The concern is that snakeheads have been completely untested in much smaller environments,” Surovell said. “So if you put one of these things in Smith Mountain Lake, it has an entirely different (effect) than it does in the Potomac.” According to a fact sheet by USGS, snakeheads can threaten an ecosystem by eating up the fish population or becoming a direct competitor for food. Additionally, snakeheads can carry parasites and diseases that could kill local species. Another invasive species that could threaten Virginia waters is the zebra mussel, which is banned under existing law. According to VDGIF, the zebra mussel is native to Eastern Europe and first appeared in the United States in 1988. It wasn’t until 2002 that the mussels invaded Virginia waters. Odenkirk was the first person to verify that zebra mussels had infested the Millbrook Quarry in Prince William County, where people go scuba diving. The problem was caught soon enough that zebra mussels were eradicated from the area. It was suspected that the mussels were placed there purposely to make the water clearer for better diving conditions. Odenkirk believes this because there would have been no natural way for the mussels to have gotten into the quarry. The evidence was only circumstantial, and no one was ever convicted. The zebra mussel is harmful to ecosystems because it filters out microorganisms that smaller fish eat and can cover hard surfaces, including endangered freshwater mussels. Zebra mussels also cling to pipes in
electric power plants and municipal water systems and destroy boat rudders. Bill would outlaw female circumcision
By Haley Winn Capital News Service RICHMOND – The General Assembly is considering a bill that would make the practice of female genital mutilation a misdemeanor – but that penalty is much less than the sponsors originally intended. The bill, which has cleared the Senate and is now in the House, would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to perform any circumcision or infibulation of the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a minor – or for parents or legal guardians to consent to the procedure for a girl. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. When the legislation was introduced, it proposed making it a Class 2 felony for parents or guardians to allow a minor to undergo female genital mutilation, or FGM, which is practiced in certain cultures in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Someone who performed the procedure would have faced at least five years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. At the beginning of the legislative session, two bills in the Senate called for the criminalization of FGM: SB 1060 introduced by Sen. Richard Black, R-Loudoun County, and SB 1241, by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, RHenrico County, who is also an obstetrician. During the committee process, the two bills were merged and went forward as SB 1060. While in committee, the proposed penalties were changed to misdemeanors. And that is how the bill read when it was passed unanimously by the Senate on Feb. 2. The legislation is now being considered by the House Courts of Justice Committee. No law in Virginia specifically bans the practice of FGM. The offense falls in the category of malicious wounding and aggravated malicious wounding, both of which are felony offenses. FGM is common in such countries
as Somalia, Egypt, Mali and Nigeria, as well as in parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. It is also common in some immigrant communities in North America, Europe and Australia. A common misconception about FGM is that it is practiced by only Muslims. In fact, experts say, the practice is not specific to any religion and is rooted in culture and tradition. According to Human Rights Watch, FGM is practiced by some members of the Islamic, Christian and Jewish faiths. Under the legislation sponsored by Black and Dunnavant, people charged with practicing or allowing FGM could not claim as a defense that it was “required as a matter of custom, ritual, or religious practice” or that the minor had consented. Largely because it is home to people from other countries, Virginia is listed as one of the states where women and girls are at the highest risk of being victims of FGM. FGM has been a crime under federal law since 1996. In 2013, President Obama signed the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act, which outlawed “vacation cutting” – sending a minor abroad to undergo the procedure. According to the AHA Foundation, which works to oppose violence against girls and women, 24 states have laws criminalizing FMG. They include Maryland, Tennessee and Delaware. In 2016, a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that more than 513,000 females were at risk of, or have experienced, FGM. About 169,000 of those individuals were minors. In January, Black released a statement calling FGM “barbaric.” “This physical torture of little girls is a violation of the rights of children,” he said. Bluegrass program picked as state’s official TV series
By Amy Lee Capital News Service RICHMOND –Virginia has square dancing as the state folk dance and milk as the state beverage. Now it may boast “Song of the Mountains” as the state television series. On Thursday, the Senate passed a bill to add the bluegrass concert TV program to Virginia’s official list of emblems and designations. The measure, approved by the House of Delegates on Jan. 25, now heads to the governor’s desk. Del. Jeffrey Campbell, who introduced HB 1927, hails from Marion, where “Song of the Mountains” is taped. Nearly every month, country music artists and a live audience converge at the historic Lincoln Theater in Marion for bluegrass, old-time and Americana jams. The concert series is taped live and distributed by PBS to more than 120 public television outlets across the See VIRGINIA, 28
Page 28 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017 VIRGINIA, from 27 country. The show is on its 13th season and has featured local, national and international guest performers. The Appalachian Music Heritage Foundation, which owns the rights to “Song of the Mountains,” called the series “a strong attraction for visitors from out of town, an economic engine for Historic Downtown Marion and a significant contributor to downtown Marion’s renaissance – a phenomenon that is the envy of so many small towns throughout Virginia and beyond.” However, “Song of the Mountains” has faced financial problems in the past. The program was once owned by the Lincoln Theatre, and in 2015, the theater’s board began a restructuring of the show in the face of funding troubles. Tim White, longtime host of “Song of the Mountains,” was fired, leading to an outcry from fans and Marion business owners who expressed fears for the future of the program. Eventually, “Song of the Mountains” was acquired by the Appalachian Music Heritage Foun-
dation, and White was reinstated as host. “Song of the Mountains” draws tourists to Marion and the Lincoln Theatre every season, but bluegrass aficionados in Virginia say the music genre is not just limited to the southwest region of Virginia. “You take people like the Seldom Scene, and they were from around Washington, D.C., and they were instrumental in bringing bluegrass a long way,” said Mike Nicely, a bluegrass musician and board member of the Virginia Folk Music Association. “There’s bluegrass throughout Northern Virginia and D.C., and there’s a lot of roots that come out of that area. I’m not saying it doesn’t come out of Southern Virginia and it doesn’t come out of the mountains, because it does, but it really comes from all over,” Nicely said. Virginia has two state songs – “Sweet Virginia Breeze” (the official “popular” song) and “Our Great Virginia” (the official “traditional” song). “Song of the Mountains” would be the only representation of bluegrass and country music on the state’s list
of “official emblems and designations.” It would join such symbols of Virginia as the northern cardinal (the state bird) and dogwood (tree) as well as the big-eared bat (Virginia’s official bat), Nelsonite (the state rock) and performances of “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine” in Big Stone Gap (the official outdoor drama). For Nicely, the General Assembly’s designation of “Song of the Mountains” as Virginia’s official television series is part of an upward trend of bluegrass music’s popularity, spurred by the genre’s humble roots. “A lot of bluegrass music is based on true stories that’ve happened to people over the last couple hundred of years,” Nicely said. “A lot of songs have been written about different things that have happened – tragedies and so on that people have written about. That’s a lot of bluegrass, a lot of storytelling. It’s just an interesting part of history of the nation.” For more information about “Song of the Mountains” – both the live concerts at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion and the PBS television series – visit https://songofthemountains. org/ Documentary reveals life in solitary confinement
By Megan Schiffres Capital News Service
The desperate screams of inmates and the thundering sound of bodies
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thrown against locked doors echo disturbingly through the cavernous halls of Red Onion State Prison in HBO’s new documentary, “SOLITARY: Inside Red Onion State Prison.” The film shines a light into the lives of both prisoners and guards at one of Virginia’s largest supermax prisons. The American Civil Liberties Union hosted a screening of the documentary Wednesday night at the Virginia Historical Society, followed by a panel discussion featuring the movie’s director, a man who was held in solitary confinement, and a woman whose son is imprisoned at Red Onion. “Long-term solitary confinement, we believe, is cruel and unusual punishment, and that violates the Eighth Amendment of our Constitution,” said Hope Amezquita, staff attorney and legislative counsel for the ACLU of Virginia. At Red Onion State Prison, inmates in solitary confinement spend 23 hours of every day in a cell measuring 8 by 10 feet, according to the film. Their rooms hold only the basic necessities, and the windows facing the outside are frosted over. There, inmates are left alone with their thoughts and the disembodied screams of their fellow prisoners.
Their only human contact is shouting at corrections officers on the other side of the door and whispering through the air vents to prisoners in nearby cells. “The film was tough to watch, to be honest. There were so many pieces of the film that I honestly left back with me in some of those prisons,” said Marcus Bullock, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for a carjacking at age 15. Marcus said he was held in isolation for several months during his incarceration at Fairfax County Jail. “I remember yelling through the vent – that was our telephone system.” About 67,500 people – more than 5 percent of all prisoners in the U.S. – are being held in solitary confinement, according to a 2016 national report by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and the Arthur Liman Program at Yale Law School. Virginia is one of the 44 states that uses solitary confinement, through the Virginia Department of Corrections prefers the term “segregated housing.” Last year, the state reported holding 854 people, or about 3 percent of the incarcerated population of Virginia, in segregated housing. The HBO documentary puts a human face to these statistics by fo-
Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 29 cusing on the personal stories of a handful of prisoners and corrections officers at Red Onion State Prison. Their stories are hard to watch and difficult to comprehend, because viewers find themselves sympathizing with criminals and with the people who keep them locked up at the same time. The film addresses the deep psychological toll that the environment at a supermax prison like Red Onion has on prisoners and guards alike. In one interview, Dennis Webb, a prisoner who was sent to Red Onion for stabbing his former warden, said he didn’t have any mental problems un-
til he was put in segregation. “When I don’t take my medication, I cut all over myself. That’s what segregation did to me,” Webb said. “Keeping me in segregation the rest of my life is a death sentence.” Correctional officers at the prison are shown to be under enormous stress because of the dangerous nature of their work. Several officers spoke about becoming gradually desensitized to the prison environment and looking at their work as “just a job.” According to the U.S. Justice Department, Red Onion State Prison opened in 1998 to house the increas-
CRIME OF THE WEEK Frederick County Crime of the Week - February 10, 2017 This week’s Crime of the Week involves several incidents of obtaining gift cards by fraud on January 19th, 21st and 25th, 2017 at local Martins grocery stores. Suspects would approach the service desk with several $500 gift cards in their hands and a MasterCard to load the gift cards. The chip on the card appeared to be “malfunctioning” and the suspect would attempt the card three times until it would “error out”. The suspect would then swipe the card, using the magnetic strip and the card would load. Each time suspects would enter through one door and exit out another. One suspect vehicle is very similar to a 2009-2014 Nissan Maxima, and another is similar to a mid 2000’s BMW 3 or 5 series. This scam has occurred from Hagerstown, MD down I81 to Staunton. If you have any information regarding suspects or a suspect vehicle in these incidents, please contact Crime Solvers at (540)665‑TIPS (8477). Information leading to the arrest of a suspect may result in a reward of up to $1,000. Incident #17000413 - Investigator Hazelwood Winchester City Crime of the Week - February 3, 2017 This week’s Crime of the Week involves an armed robbery that took place at 601 Berryville Avenue on December 10, 2016. Officers were dispatched to an armed robbery in progress, where a male in a black jacket, blue jeans, white sneakers, and a camouflage face mask had come into the store with a gun demanding money from the store clerks. Witnesses said that the suspect fled from the store towards the apartments on Woodstock Lane. If you have any information regarding a suspect or a suspect vehicle in this incident, please contact Crime Solvers at (540) 665‑TIPS (8477). Information leading to the arrest of a suspect may result in a reward of up to $1,000. Incident #16049524
ing number of inmates the Virginia Department of Corrections had been placing in administrative segregation. For years, the overwhelming majority of the prison’s population were held in segregation, until state officials began to recognize the challenges that long-term administrative segregation posed, including the deterioration of inmates’ mental health, negative effects on staff morale and high costs. In 2011, the Department of Corrections began implementing reforms at Red Onion that shifted the goal of the facility from keeping prisoners locked up to providing them with the means to leave segregation. The Step-Down program is a therapeutic and educational program that requires inmates to keep journals and attend classes on critical thinking, anger management and substance abuse, with the goal of returning to the general prison population. “I don’t think there’s an issue with the Step-Down program,” said Kimberly Jenkins-Snodgrass, whose son Kevin is incarcerated at Red Onion. “I think it’s an issue the way it’s been administered.” Since its inception, the Step-Down program has reduced the number of inmates in segregation at Red Onion from 511 to 160, according to Scott Richenson, deputy director for the division of programs, education and reentry at the Virginia Department of Corrections. She said that while mistakes have been made in the past, the procedures outlined in the Step-Down program are largely followed. The documentary was criticized by some who attended the discussion panel for not addressing reform efforts like the Step-Down program at Red Onion. But director Kristi Jacobson said the film was meant to tell a more universal story about solitary confinement and not focus on one specific reform program. “I think the documentary was more a portrayal of solitary confinement rather than Red Onion in particular, and I appreciate the filmmaker pointing that out,” said Clifton Cauthorne, chaplin at Red Onion State Prison. “The institution is trying to move people to not being in confinement, but as for a portrayal of what it is like to be in solitary, I think
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she did a good job.” “SOLITARY: Inside Red Onion State Prison” is available on HBO for the next 30 days. Town seeks state law to putter around in golf carts
By Jessica Nolte Capital News Service Not everyone is interested in living life in the fast lane. For some residents of the sleepy town of Jarratt in Southside Virginia, a golf cart is just the right speed. At least it was – until other residents complained to the sheriff. Now, at the town’s request, state legislators will settle the matter: The House has passed a bill that would allow golf carts on public roadways in Jarratt. HB 2423, sponsored by Del. Roslyn Tyler, a Democrat from Jarratt, passed the House unanimously on Tuesday. “It seems like a trivial matter, but it is really neat to see a row of golf carts parked at the ballpark on Friday nights where residents have come over to cheer on the local rec league team, or a group of carts parked near the playgrounds and parks with families enjoying play time,” said Kenneth Warf, the mayor of Jarratt. Whether taking a trip to the playground, visiting a neighbor or running errands, Jarratt residents were using golf carts to cruise around town. At first, that wasn’t a problem. But then other people in Jarratt, which straddles Greensville and Sussex counties, started complaining. They weren’t trying to ban golf carts; no one in town actually opposes using them, the mayor said. Instead, the concerned citizens wanted to ensure there are rules to protect the safety of cart owners and the public. Under state law, Jarratt doesn’t have the authority to set such rules. That’s because the town (population 638) doesn’t have a police department. And Virginia law says a town without a police department may not authorize the use of golf carts on its streets. For law enforcement, Jarratt depends on the sheriff ’s offices in Greensville and Sussex counties. The people who complained about golf carts in Jarratt worried about safety
when children were driving the vehicles. Others were concerned about golf carts without proper reflective hardware or safety lighting, which made it difficult to see the carts at night, Warf said. To address the concerns, Greensville County Sheriff Timothy Jarratt (yes, his name is the same as the town’s) attended the Jarratt Town Council meeting on Nov. 8. He reminded residents about the importance of safely operating golf carts and all-terrain vehicles, according to the minutes of the meeting. After investigating the complaints, Sheriff Jarratt warned residents that law enforcement would begin enforcing the Virginia code that prohibits people from driving golf carts or ATVs on public roadways in Jarratt. Violators would receive a warning for a first offense and a ticket on a second offense, the minutes stated. The law in Virginia is clear – “No town that has not established its own police department ... may authorize the operation of golf carts or utility vehicles” – but it has a loophole: The law exempts six towns from that provision – Claremont, Clifton, Irvington, Saxis, Urbanna and Wachapreague. So Jarratt’s mayor, town council and the sheriff asked state legislators to add Jarratt to the list. Tyler, who has represented the 75th House District for more than a decade, obliged by sponsoring the legislation. If the Senate passes the bill, the state will not be responsible for the costs of legalizing golf carts in Jarratt. The town would have to pay for installing and maintaining the required signs. For Jarratt residents, the costs just might be worth it. “Life in town moves at a pretty slow pace, and a golf cart is just the right speed to keep up,” Warf said.
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Friday February 17, 2017 Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 55. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Saturday February 18, 2017 Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. Southwest wind 5 to 7 mph. The Warren County Community Center will close at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2017 to the general public, so the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department can host their Father Daughter Valentine Dance for registered participants. The Community Center will re-open, Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. 6:30pm - 9:30pm Bingo. Elks Lodge on Guard Hill Road, Front Royal. Doors open at 4:30. Early birds at 6:30. Food available for purchase. Door prizes, progressive games, queen of hearts, progressive pull tab. (540) 622-7506. Must be 12 to play. No smoking. Sunday February 19, 2017 Mostly sunny, with a high near 66. Monday February 20, 2017 Sunny, with a high near 65. Presidents' Day Tuesday February 21, 2017 Partly sunny, with a high near 58. 7pm - 8pm BZA Meeting. Front Royal Administration Building, 102 E Main Street, Front Royal. Wednesday February 22, 2017 Partly sunny, with a high near 63. Thursday February 23, 2017 Partly sunny, with a high near 64. 4pm - 5pm Anti-Litter Council Mtg. Warren County Government Center. 6:30pm - 9:30pm Bingo. Elks Lodge on Guard Hill Road, Front Royal. Doors open at 4:30. Early birds at 6:30. Food available for purchase. Door prizes, progressive games, queen of hearts, progressive pull tab. (540) 622-7506. Must be 12 to play. No smoking.
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Saturday February 25, 2017 6:30pm - 9:30pm Bingo. Elks Lodge on Guard Hill Road, Front Royal. Doors open at 4:30. Early birds at 6:30. Food available for purchase. Door prizes, progressive games, queen of hearts, progressive pull tab. (540) 622-7506. Must be 12 to play. No smoking. Sunday February 26, 2017
Wednesday March 1, 2017 8:30am - 9:30am Small Business Committee. Chamber Office. 6:30pm - 9:30pm Bingo: North Fork Resort Associates, 301 North Fork Road, Front Royal. Doors open at 4:30. Early birds at 6:30. Food available for purchase. Door prizes, progressive games, queen of hearts, progressive pull tab. (540) 622-7506. Must be 12 to play. No smoking.
Monday February 27, 2017 7pm - 8pm Council Meeting. County of Warren Government Center. 7pm - 8pm Council Work Session.
Thursday March 2, 2017 9am - 10am Tourism Committee. Chamber Office. Warren County Republican Committee Lincoln Dinner. Come one,
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Late February, 2017 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Page 31 come all! Please come and join us in celebrating Lincolns Birthday on March 2nd! We are honored to have as our keynote speaker, James L Martin, a 77-year-old veteran of the US Marines and CEO of 60 Plus Association. Martin has previously led several conservative advocacy groups, and also was chief of staff for six years for former Republican congressman and senator, the late Edward Gurney of Florida. Martin also served as a member of President
George W. Bush’s health and human services transition team. We will also have as our forum guest speakers, Delegate Glen Davis and Senator Bryce Reeves both Republican candidates for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Tickets are $50 each and $75 per couple. Please call 540-9743768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. We need a final push for ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities.
Friday March 3, 2017 1:30pm - 2:30pm Education Committee. Chamber Office. Saturday March 4, 2017 6:30pm - 9:30pm Bingo: North Fork Resort Associates, 301 North Fork Road, Front Royal. Doors open at 4:30. Early birds at 6:30. Food available for purchase. Door prizes, progressive games, queen of hearts, progressive pull tab. (540) 622-7506. Must be 12 to play. No smoking.
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PAWcasso will feature one of a kind artwork created by shelter pets, Feb.21 thru Feb.24 at BRAC on Main St. PAWcasso Art Exhibit to benefit the HSWC kennel improvements. Friday, February 24th, HSWC will be hosting a PAWcasso Art Exhibit in partnership with The Studio and BRAC Feb. 24th 6-9. Hors d’Oeuvres and refreshments provided. A $10 good will donation will earn you chance to win a pawsome door prize! Booger: a 5 yr old female Chihuahuadachshund mix. I enjoy human attention, love squeaky toys, playing fetch and tug of war!
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The Front Royal Moose Lodge #829
Hillbilly’s Junkyard Hillbilly has what you NEED! 4381 Stonewall Jackson Hwy Bentonville, VA • 636-2671 hillbillysjunkyard.com
Rosie, a 101 lb. couch potato that gets along with kids and dogs. No cats please! I just need a quiet home and a human who will keep me forever.
Rosie’s ad sponsored by:
Serving the area for 20 years! Sam Snead Realty • 540-635-9753
With your help we have been able to place thousands of animals in good homes. Contact Alison @ 540-551-2072 if you would like to become a pet sponsor too!
Page 32 • Warren & Frederick County Report • Late February, 2017
Published on Feb 17, 2017
Local news for Front Royal, Linden, Bentonville, Browntown, Middletown, Stephens City, Winchester, Warren County and Frederick County, Virgi...